Now that we've spent this week looking at all the incredible ways data is gathered, computed, analyzed and used, we thought we'd take a look through the archives to see how we got to this data age to begin with.
More than a hundred terabytes dedicated to maps of the universe
By Rena Marie PacellaPosted 11.03.2011 at 5:13 pm 1 Comment
In 1998, astronomers using the 2.5-meter Sloan telescope at New Mexico’s Apache Point Observatory began scanning the sky and loading the images they captured into the freely available Sloan Digital Sky Survey database. Since then, astronomers have used that 100-terabyte-plus cache to map half a billion stars, galaxies, asteroids and quasars; create 3-D maps of our outer galaxy; and study the structure of the universe.
The dating site also keeps enough data to crack the code of human relationships
By Rena Marie PacellaPosted 11.03.2011 at 12:00 pm 7 Comments
For the past two years, the four Harvard graduates behind the dating site OkCupid have been studying user data for insight into human behavior and sharing the results publicly. The site has seven million active members, each of whom answers an average of 200 personal questions.
Linking all the world's libraries in the biggest bibliography you've ever seen
By Rena Marie PacellaPosted 11.02.2011 at 11:01 am 2 Comments
Since the nonprofit Online Computer Library Center created WorldCat 40 years ago, librarians around the world have filled the database with bibliographic information on more than 1.75 billion items from 72,000 libraries in 170 countries.