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Using Big Data to save lives June 11, 2012

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Cloud Computing, Trends.
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Here’s one way to put big data to good use – saving lives. Taking all that information in collecting, managing and making decisions in real time to assess risk profiles for imminent danger is why we use technology. What other ways have you seen where big data is put to use?

Gigaom

Rice University researchers have built a web-based calculator that predicts the risks associated with hurricanes for a specific address in Houston. The tool uses historical and meteorological data to generate a risk profile for residents of the city in real-time (hat tip Discovery News). As a former Houston resident who has lived through several hurricanes, this is a pretty nifty combination of a variety of data sources into a tool that helps regular people makes decisions.

The tool, which is limited to Harris County, was inspired by the mass evacuations that occurred during Hurricane Rita in 2005. Millions of Houstonians fled the storm and blocked major roadways. Not all of those who left needed too, but absent hard data it’s hard to know what to do if you’re reading about a Category 5 storm heading your way.

For those who stayed, understanding their risk of power failure or wind…

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