Long Data Is Still Big Data

Image representing Hadoop as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase
You add the time dimension to Big Data and you get Long Data. Long Data is still Big Data.

Stop Hyping Big Data and Start Paying Attention to ‘Long Data’

crunching big numbers can help us learn a lot about ourselves. ..... But no matter how big that data is or what insights we glean from it, it is still just a snapshot: a moment in time. ..... as beautiful as a snapshot is, how much richer is a moving picture, one that allows us to see how processes and interactions unfold over time? ..... many of the thi

Structure of Evolutionary Biology - Blue
Structure of Evolutionary Biology - Blue (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
ngs that affect us today and will affect us tomorrow have changed slowly over time ...... Datasets of long timescales not only help us understand how the world is changing, but how we, as humans, are changing it — without this awareness, we fall victim to shifting baseline syndrome. This is the tendency to shift our “baseline,” or what is considered “normal” — blinding us to shifts that occur across generations (since the generation we are born into is taken to be the norm). ..... Shifting baselines have been cited, for example, as the reason why cod vanished off the coast of the Newfoundland: overfishing fishermen failed to see the slow, multi-generational loss of cod since the population decrease was too slow to notice in isolation. ..... Fields such as geology and astronomy or evolutionary biology — where data spans millions of years — rely on long timescales to explain the world today. History itself is being given the long data treatment, with scientists attempting to use a quantitative framework to understand social processes through cliodynamics, as part of digital history. Examples range from understanding the lifespans of empires (does the U.S. as an “empire” have a time limit that policy makers should be aware of?) to mathematical equations of how religions spread (it’s not that different from how non-religious ideas spread today). ...... building a clock that can last 10,000 years .... the 26,000-year cycle for the precession of equinoxes ...... Just as big data scientists require skills and tools like Hadoop, long data scientists will need special skillsets. Statistics are essential, but so are subtle, even seemingly arbitrary pieces of knowledge such as how our calendar has changed over time
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