I came across this article/Q&A titled “Eight Questions for Rick Smolan About the Human Face of Big Data.” Then, I thought to myself: “Who is Rick Smolan? What does he know about big data? And how does Big Data have a human face?”
Rick Smolan is a photographer who has done a lot of amazing work for Time, Life, National Geographic, etc., as well as a lot of personal work and self published books. His latest project/book, The Human Face of Big Data, is a book trying to visually explain big data, what it is, why it is important, etc. through the use of photography. While many people think of big data as just being numbers, he is trying to get rid of that notion and literally personalize and put a face to the idea of big data. In this article he says that the book is “cheerleading big data to the solutions to all our problem.” While I am not sure that I agree wholeheartedly that big data can solve all of our problems I do think with the right minds looking at and analyzing data, that big data can solve a lot of our problems.
After finding the article I was really intrigued by the project and wanted to learn more. I came across the video below, in which Smolan describes his project and its importance. He is obviously pitching/presenting it to someone, but I do not know to who (investors? clients?). At the end he states the they [the people working on the project] are not trying to be the definitive answer to/source of big data but are trying to give some fascinating examples on how big data is touching our lives. Watch the video and he will give you a couple examples already.
In addition to the video you an also check out the project’s website where you can get an inside look at the book.