Open Data is The Future of Data

Sean T. O’Brien, President and CEO

Open Data is The Future of Data

Sean T. O’Brien, President and CEO

NatureServe started mapping biodiversity before the invention of GIS. Spatial data has been a cornerstone of our work since the 1970s, reveals Sean T. O’Brien, President and CEO of the US-based non-profit.

As we enter into the digital age, the future will be all about data. Do you think data will have a significant role to play in sustainable development in the coming times?

That’s quite inevitable. Geospatial data will play an important role in sustainable development. We are generating enormous amounts of data from all kinds of sensors — satellites, camera traps, environmental monitoring stations, cell phones, and people — about the state of the planet. The problem is that there is so much data coming from so many sources that it is difficult to effectively analyze and use all the information. The key is to distinguish the signal from noise to identify the most important information for conservation and sustainable development. Thankfully, many organizations are working on making all kinds of data openly available and using cloud computing and Machine Learning to analyze data for conservation-focused development.

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