Big Data is becoming bigger by the day, with data creation said to double every 18 months. What this means is that data will soon start to touch nearly every aspect of our lives, whether we realize it or not. Right now, some companies have pushed the use of this technology to such limits that it baffles and intrigues the mind to no ends. In this blog we talk about some such amazing use cases of big data.

Building Family History leverages big data to help people build their family tree. The company has about 15 billion records and 10 petabytes of content—birth and death records, war and immigration records, historical records etc. mostly maintained in handwritten format. It analyzes a client’s DNA, and matches it with its database to link far removed cousins and build the family tree.

Mining Underground Information

Utilities in Las Vegas have no idea of where their underground assets are located. As a result, service interruptions, due to accidental power line cuts or water line bursts, are rampant. To overcome this problem, the city aggregated data from various sources to develop a 3D model of its utility network. The model showcases both above and below ground utilities and has been effectively used to visualize the performance of critical underground assets of the city.

Integrating Nature with Design

DPR Construction, which is building the UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay, is leveraging big data to integrate air flow, floor spacing, building orientation, environmental resiliency, etc. into a virtual model for real-time interaction of data. This would allow architects, designers and construction teams to interpret millions of data for better understanding and visualization of workable designs.

Predicting Fruit Falls

Wish to know where the cherry and apple trees in your neighborhood might be dropping fruit? FallingFruit helps you know that well in advance. The site combines and analyzes data from the municipal tree inventories, U.S. Department of Agriculture, street tree databases etc. to provide an interactive map about the nearest and farthest point of fruit dropping.

Growing Ideal Christmas trees

How about having a customized Christmas tree? Scientists have tapped into big data to connect genetic, physical, and environmental data from 15 major Christmas tree databases to understand the best ways to grow the trees. The solution they offer also takes into account important ecological issues like reforestation and climate change thereby making it easy for people to grow a Christmas tree of their choice.

Conserving Threatened Species

Remote acoustic sensors and machine learning, can now help biologists to keep complete track of hard-to-monitor animal and bird species. By analyzing the data on the nesting patterns and population of species like marbled murrelet, it’s now possible for biologists to understand the threats to their habitat and accordingly tailor measures to conserve them.

These use cases are indeed jaw dropping, but the list is actually endless. Other equally surprising and bewildering uses of big data include improving job conditions, enhancing relationships, fighting epidemics, pairing foods, saving endangered species, making cities green etc. How much ever funny and surprising it may sound, the fact remains that the list is set to grow with time – as and when the technology evolves and perhaps when data scientists gain more control over emanating data speed.