In our modern world it seems that every little change is turned into data somehow captured in space and time. Every car in traffic is counted; every gallon of water is accounted for; every grocery store patron’s habits tracked. All these tiny, seemingly insignificant facts are tallied and filed away, and for a long time have gone largely untapped by governments and corporations alike. With the power to know where people and things are and how they relate to one another, there are few tools as powerful as big data mining, especially when it comes to sustainable development.
How Can Big Data Help Sustainable Development?
When the goal is sustainable development, no matter the scale, there are many factors to keep in mind besides simply building something to a standard. Developers, whether it’s a government or a private enterprise, must consider all of the social, environmental and economic factors surrounding a geographic location and project. The goal of sustainable development then, fits hand-in-hand with ArcGIS software and its effortless ability to leverage big data. With the advent of ArcGIS Online, where there is access to seemingly endless layers of data from around the world available, and many maps waiting to be added to with your own unique perspective, this is the perfect resource for managing your sustainable development project while leveraging big data.
The United Nations Initiative
The United Nations is committed to stressing the vital role of big data and GIS in sustainable development projects around the world. The Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management of the United Nations works to educate government leaders, national mapping executives and industry leaders alike of the vast power that big data mapping has in sustainable development to take better care of the people and places of the world.
How Singapore Used Big Data in a Sustainable Development Project
Singapore is a City State comprised of 63 islands off the end of the Malay Peninsula. It has a mostly urban population of 5.1 million people and has finite space and limited resources, as well as no creation of natural resources with everything imported from surrounding countries. Sustainable development in Singapore is crucial to the health of this country on many planes. In 2008 the Singapore government concluded that the Jurong Lake District was the ideal place for a sustainable development in which all aspects of daily life would be incorporated from residency to business, and leisure to entertainment. They followed a three-stage plan for their sustainable development.
- Urban Form and Master Planning
This consisted of the physical plan and design of the city. Development experts in many fields from water to transportation and architecture leveraged big data to devise the absolute best infrastructure and design they could conceive of to meet the lowest possible targets.
- Infrastructure or Primary Systems Evaluation Modeling
Once the master plan framework was accepted, developers began to evaluate in more detail devising a plan for building materials, and water and energy consumption that got them even closer to their target goals.
- Master Program Optimization
This is where the integration of the entire project happens, during which every layer of sustainable development is considered alongside every other one in order to make sure that everything is in sync so as to be as efficient as possible for both the economy, the people and the environment.
You can imagine that with such an integrated development plan in which the flows of people, goods, and resources all come into play that a platform like ArcGIS is invaluable. With the ability to aggregate all your data and visualize it in strategic development maps, there is no better way to leverage big data solutions for sustainable development than with ArcGIS.
If you are looking to use big data mapping for an upcoming project be sure to give ROK a call to see how we might be able to help you with our ArcGIS infrastructure expertise.