Environmental data rescue

Environmental data rescue

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Encyclopedia
Environmental data rescue is a collection of processes, including photography
Photography
Photography is the art, science and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either electronically by means of an image sensor or chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film...

 and scanning
Image scanner
In computing, an image scanner—often abbreviated to just scanner—is a device that optically scans images, printed text, handwriting, or an object, and converts it to a digital image. Common examples found in offices are variations of the desktop scanner where the document is placed on a glass...

, that stores historical and modern environmental data
Data
The term data refers to qualitative or quantitative attributes of a variable or set of variables. Data are typically the results of measurements and can be the basis of graphs, images, or observations of a set of variables. Data are often viewed as the lowest level of abstraction from which...

 in a usable format
File format
A file format is a particular way that information is encoded for storage in a computer file.Since a disk drive, or indeed any computer storage, can store only bits, the computer must have some way of converting information to 0s and 1s and vice-versa. There are different kinds of formats for...

. The data is then analyzed and used in scientific models
Scientific modelling
Scientific modelling is the process of generating abstract, conceptual, graphical and/or mathematical models. Science offers a growing collection of methods, techniques and theory about all kinds of specialized scientific modelling...

. Historical weather
Weather
Weather is the state of the atmosphere, to the degree that it is hot or cold, wet or dry, calm or stormy, clear or cloudy. Most weather phenomena occur in the troposphere, just below the stratosphere. Weather refers, generally, to day-to-day temperature and precipitation activity, whereas climate...

 information helps meteorologists and climatologists understand past trends in weather changes, which helps them forecast and predict future weather.

One method takes digital photographs of environmental datum stored on paper medium and then ships the images to a facility where they are entered into a database
Database
A database is an organized collection of data for one or more purposes, usually in digital form. The data are typically organized to model relevant aspects of reality , in a way that supports processes requiring this information...

.

Throughout the world, some estimate 700,000 pieces of data are lost every day due to ink
Ink
Ink is a liquid or paste that contains pigments and/or dyes and is used to color a surface to produce an image, text, or design. Ink is used for drawing and/or writing with a pen, brush, or quill...

s fading, paper
Paper
Paper is a thin material mainly used for writing upon, printing upon, drawing or for packaging. It is produced by pressing together moist fibers, typically cellulose pulp derived from wood, rags or grasses, and drying them into flexible sheets....

 deteriorating, magnetic tape
Magnetic tape
Magnetic tape is a medium for magnetic recording, made of a thin magnetizable coating on a long, narrow strip of plastic. It was developed in Germany, based on magnetic wire recording. Devices that record and play back audio and video using magnetic tape are tape recorders and video tape recorders...

 cross-talk etc. A rough estimate of 100 billion parameter values that are still on paper exists, microfiche, microfilm, and magnetic tape that are in a format unusable by computers and scientists alike, which need to be digitized. This data is stored on a variety of media from paper, microfiche, to older Magnetic tapes that are going bad.

Once data is digitized, it can be used to help a large range of people from farmer
Farmer
A farmer is a person engaged in agriculture, who raises living organisms for food or raw materials, generally including livestock husbandry and growing crops, such as produce and grain...

s to engineer
Engineer
An engineer is a professional practitioner of engineering, concerned with applying scientific knowledge, mathematics and ingenuity to develop solutions for technical problems. Engineers design materials, structures, machines and systems while considering the limitations imposed by practicality,...

s and in scientific pursuits such as climate studies.

National Climatic Data Center
National Climatic Data Center
The United States National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, North Carolina is the world's largest active archive of weather data. The center became established in late 1951, with the move into the new facility occurring in early 1952....

 is the current collection point for this data within the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.

Historical Environmental Data are also used as a basis for "Disease Vectorization" where the areal spread of airborne diseases are correlated to historical weather conditions so that in future outbreaks, health care teams can predict the direction and rate of spread of the disease so that remedial actions can begin before the disease reaches the vulnerable population. Historic data are also used in designing structures such as bridges and buildings, assist the 1.8 Billion subsistence farmers throughout the world better plan crops alleviating starvation.
The International Environmental Data Rescue Organization, a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization has already participated in the rescue and digitization of 1,000,000 historic weather observations in African and South America: http://IEDRO.ORG