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Big Data Climate Challenge Winners Announced

Big Data Climate ChallengeProjects from the Global Forest Watch and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture have been named the winners of the Big Data Climate Challenge, hosted by the United Nations Global Pulse.

In addition, seven submissions were named Projects to Watch.

The announcement was part of the buildup to the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Summit, to be held Sept. 23 at UN Headquarters in New York.

Winners were selected by a group of global experts in climate science, sustainable development and big data. Submissions were received from 40 countries, representing more than 20 topics.

The winners:

  • Global Forest Watch, a forest monitoring system from the World Resources Institute and partners that enables management of forests by combining satellite imaging, open data and crowdsourcing.
  • A decision-making tool for Colombian rice farmers by the Site-Specific Agriculture Big Data Team at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, which uses harvest monitoring data, climate data and seasonal forecasts to generate farming recommendations for rice growers.

Titles of Projects to Watch include:

  • Urban Services Monitoring
  • Big Earth Observation Data for Climate Change Research
  • Using Big Data and Google Directions to Show CO2 Emissions From Transport
  • Development Under Climate Change
  • SmartSpaces Energy Monitoring System
  • Data and Computational Tools to Build Low-Carbon, Sustainable Energy Systems
  • Megacities Carbon Project

At the UN Climate Summit, the two winning teams’ research will be shared with heads of state as well as global business leaders.

The challenge is a global competition hosted by United Nations Global Pulse, an initiative of the Secretary-General on big data. The challenge was launched in May 2014 to find new evidence of the economic aspects of climate change using data and analytics.

Big data is being increasingly called upon to help create solutions to environmental challenges, such as though found in the areas of water management, air quality, energy efficiency and farming.

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