IBM is aiming to help researchers analyze the physical world with its new PAIRS Geoscope offering. The technology from IBM will offer analytics capabilities for geospatial-temporal data, which is the measure of how physical objects change over time.
The new technology can have far-reaching benefits for a number of industries, from farms to solar energy facilities. According to Silicon Angle:
This is information that describes how physical objects change over time in the context of their location, an essential asset for many important industries. A utility planning to build a new solar farm, for example, must carefully weigh the target location’s average temperature and cloud coverage before construction can begin. Likewise, tech-savvy agriculture companies monitor field conditions with sensors to identify ways of improving crop growth.
The idea for the experimental service came from a crop analytics system IBM had created for a winery. The service will allow researchers to address two big challenges for physical analytics projects:
The first is the difficulty of moving large volumes of sensory information from a remote location to a data center where they can be analyzed. To reduce data collection requirements, PAIRS Geoscope has a repository of readily available geospatial-temporal records for analysts to draw upon. IBM says that it’s adding “terabytes” of new information every day.
The other challenge has to do with the fact that data points collected from different sources will often have varying formats. The more formats there are to reconcile, the more complexity there is to deal with. IBM says PAIRS Geoscope can automatically ingest new measurements and integrate them into a consistent form so they may be processed as a whole.
This service offers an entirely new way to apply big data, analytics, and visualization to real-world problems. In order to analyze anything you need to gather the proper data, and at present – especially for physical objects – collecting data involves grabbing information from multiple sources. A singular technology that can gather all of the data will make things easier and faster for researchers in dire need of new methods.
Several companies and colleges are already using the service.