The new, new thing is big data: IBM shows what can be done

Posted on September 24, 2011  /  0 Comments

Big data was what caught my attention at the talk by IBM Fellow C. Mohan at WSO2Con. The talk was good. But the exhibition would have been better.

It turns out that the initial “data wall,” as it is called, offers a series of displays culled from “live data streaming,” some from sensors around Lincoln Center. The snaking line of light that streams across the wall, for example, is a representation of the movement of traffic along Broadway and Columbus Avenue as it is tracked by a specially mounted camera. When the flow is thwarted by red lights or traffic, the line leaps out of its straightforward progress and curves and twists into visual knots.

The other display showing seepage and spillage is the result of robotic monitoring, not near Lincoln Center, but along the Delaware Aqueduct that carries water into New York City from upstate reservoirs; sensors have revealed continual leaks that lose a substantial amount of water every day.

So we are watching representations of complex phenomena: the flow of traffic and of water.

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