The Next Big Thing
Posts about next generation technologies and their effect on business.

Earth Insights - Big Data in the Wild

Earth Insights.jpgToday at HP Discover, HP announced an innovative collaboration with Conservation International (CI) — a leading non-governmental organization dedicated to protecting nature for people — to dramatically improve the accuracy and speed of analysis of data collection in environmental science. 


The initiative, called HP Earth Insights, delivers near-real time analytics yielding new information that indicates a decline in a significant percentage of species monitored. The project serves as an early warning system for conservation efforts, enabling proactive responses to environmental threats. 


HP Earth Insights applies HP’s big data technology to the ecological research being conducted by Conservation International and its partners across 16 tropical forests around the world, as part of the Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) Network Tropical forests, which are home to approximately 30 million species—half of all the plants and animals on earth—and generate 40 percent of the earth’s oxygen.


According to the United Nations Environment Programme, tropical forests are vanishing at a rate of about 18,000 square miles (4.6 million hectares) per year. Data and analysis from HP Earth Insights will be shared with protected area managers to develop policies regarding hunting and other causes of species loss in these ecosystems.


For this project, HP is providing a customized solution that harnesses the power of its big data offerings to address the challenges faced by CI scientists:

  • The HP Vertica Analytics Platform—a next-generation software tool, designed to manage and analyze massive and fast-growing volumes of data with amazing speed and unprecedented accuracy, will be used to address the needs of CI scientists to collect, store and assess a variety of data.
  • The Wildlife Picture Index (WPI) Analytics System—a dashboard and analytics tool built by HP Enterprise Services—allows for the visualization of user-friendly, data-driven insights to be accessed anytime, anywhere, in near real-time.


Currently, HP Earth Insights manages 3 terabytes of critical biodiversity information, including more than 1.4 million photos and more than 3 million climate measurements that continues to grow every day. The project analyzes the ever-increasing inputs related to species, vegetation, precipitation, temperature, carbon stocks, humidity and more, gathered from over 1000 camera traps and many climate sensors in 16 countries to deliver findings about the environment that previously were unknown.


By delivering analytics nine times faster than previously available and generating useable trend information on species and the impacts of climate, people and land use, HP Earth Insights is helping to protect these important resources.


This new solution also serves to demonstrate HP’s end-to-end capabilities in action, from HP ElitePads that meet the mobility requirements of the scientists to capture data in the tropical forests, to HP ProLiant servers powering back-end data systems, to building out the existing cloud component to meet the project’s growing data needs.


This real life example shows how big data techniques can take on big problems and provide new value and greater understanding, far beyond the office.

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