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“As application inter-operability and cloud computing become new IT standards, expect Sustainability applications that harness big data by integrating with existing business systems to become commonplace.” ~ Patti Prairie, author of “Biomimicry”
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In today’s world of analytics from intelligence gathering, to business analysis, to gathering data on rain forests and its inhabitants; Big Data has been acknowledged for decades. For example, in Biosphere 2, an Earth research facility that is now owned by the University of Arizona, data is collected in each environmental habitat. Whether it is water, electricity used, humidity, water salination in their pools, or other habitat variables; they are all measured to understand how ecosystems work.

Biosphere 2 contained representative biomes: a 1,900 square meter rainforest, an 850 square meter ocean with a coral reef, a 450 square meter mangrove wetlands, a 1,300 square meter savannah grassland, a 1,400 square meter fog desert, a 2,500 square meter agricultural system, a human habitat, and a below-ground infrastructure. Heating and cooling water circulated through independent piping systems and passive solar input through the glass space frame panels covering most of the facility, and electrical power was supplied into Biosphere 2 from an onsite natural gas energy center. [see footnote]

 
For more information, read this article from HBR’s Blog: Does Bigger Data Lead to Better Decisions?

Footnote: UASCIENCE Fast Facts

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