NOAA wants to open its big data vaults


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How does the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration release 20 terabytes of information a day?

The answer is, it needs help. To efficiently open the staggering amount of data, which equals twice the size of all of the Library of Congress’ print holdings, collected each day, the Commerce Department is asking for help from the commercial sector.

Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker called on the private industry’s assistance to unleash NOAA and the Commerce Department’s data in a quick and sustainable way. Her colleague, Kathryn Sullivan, acting NOAA administrator, highlighted what unleashed data could do for the economy.

“Trillions more bytes of data from NOAA could help existing businesses, startup companies and even nongovernmental organizations develop new and innovative products,” she said in a Feb. 24 statement.

Commerce has released a Request for Information to explore the possibility of releasing the heaps of information.

NOAA gathers its information through a myriad of platforms, including buoys, satellites, ships and supercomputers.

The request comes as part of Commerce’s Open for Business Agenda, which is working to increase the nation’s digital economy.

“When we look at the number of businesses that rely on NOAA and the department’s data today, and the economic vitality they represent, we see tremendous potential to spur even more economic growth, create new industries, and promote job creation,” Sullivan said. “Today’s RFI is one step toward unlocking the power of NOAA’s number one asset – our data.

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big data, data analytics, Kathryn Sullivan, open data, Penny Pritzker, Tech
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