From Saving to Benefitting Lives - NOAA looks at Big Data
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From Saving to Benefitting Lives - NOAA looks at Big Data

By CIOReview | Tuesday, February 25, 2014

FREMONT, CA: Information is the basis for prevention of disasters. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration gathers information from its various resources such as ships, satellites, aircraft, radars and tide gauges. Massive information gathered from all these diverse sources is still not fully leveraged according to NOAA. In the present world, where IT companies are building smart tools to understand the mountains of unstructured data, NOAA plans to provide its mammoth data to prospective IT enterprises that have the ability to make something substantial out of it. In this regard, NOAA has launched Request for Information campaign designed to inform NOAA on the trends in IT industry, business practices, technical prowess and operational capabilities. Private companies have aligned with government agencies in bringing the vital weather and climate information to the public and these services not just bring in eco awareness but generate revenue as well. NOAA looks to extend this private-public partnership into a bigger field where not just the amount of information available is huge, but the opportunities to create business avenues, create new business sectors, more jobs and propel the U.S. economy is also appealing.

It is said that 20 terabytes of data is gathered every data by NOAA. Now to store, analyze and visualize this data is a different ball game that none would deny. It is for this reason that NOAA has called for RFI. Albeit NOAA has made it clear that the interested parties (companies, organizations or universities) need to make all the investments on their own and NOAA is not liable for sharing any expenses in storing and maintaining the data shared with the interested parties.

"Quite simply, NOAA is the quintessential big data agency," said Joe Klimavicz, NOAA's CIO. "However, due to limited resources, only a fraction of that data is effectively and efficiently made available to the public. Imagine the economic potential if more of these data could be released. Unleashing the power of NOAA's data will take creative and unconventional thinking, and it's a challenge we can't tackle alone."

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