Heavens! It is not often that I read about a company (especially a small company) doing something for altruistic reasons. And so it was that I read with great interest an article in yesterday's Denver newspaper about AWhere and its commitment to help African countries adapt to climate change.
According to AWhere's website, the company's software is "a desktop map mashup solution for data visualization and analysis. ...You can quickly map data from spreadsheets or business intelligence databases. This data can then be "mashed up" with data from other sources, such as U.S. Census, weather or scientific studies, on-line mapping services like Microsoft Virtual Earth, etc."
How is the company helping African countries? This week, AWhere's CEO, John Corbett (BTW, a very thoughtful guy), is flying to Oslo, Norway for the annual African Green Revolution Conference to participate in workshops on database mapping. He states "Climate scientists hate averages" because they mask real trends and patterns. For developing countries dealing with climate changes that affect their very survival, they must have precise, accurate, and location-specific climate data.
AWhere is working with the Stockholm Environmental Institute, an "independent, international research institute specializing in sustainable development and environment issues... working at local, national, regional and global policy levels". The two hope to merge climate research with policymaking to promote sustainable development. Hear, hear!
The resulting maps will help scientists and government leaders visualize how global warming is affecting water supplies, weather patterns, arable land, and disease outbreaks. Armed with this information, governments and other agencies can determine what resources are needed to help people deal with these conditions. Also, according to the article, a not-so-insignificant side benefit is that, by mapping the large volumes of data and making them extremely understandable, the everyday Joe -- like me -- can understand what is happening to our world and take our own actions to protect or preserve it.
While many may see this situation as a glass-half-(or more)-empty kind of thing, Mr. Corbett believes that the world can navigate its way toward fixing the problems it has generated but, to do this, it will need a good map. He and his company plan to deliver just that map!
Thank you, John and the good folks at AWhere.
Yours in BI (and fixing global warming) Success!
Posted August 31, 2007 9:10 AM
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