Follow the Data

A data driven blog

Drone data overload

Two weeks ago, the New York Times published a really interesting article, Military Is Awash With Data From Drones. Apparently, US Air Force drones collected 24 years’ worth of video data in 2009, and “A group of young analysts already watches every second of the footage live as it is streamed to Langley Air Force Base […] and to other intelligence centers …” Sounds pretty boring … Now, the Air Force is “turning to the television industry to learn how to quickly share video clips and display a mix of data in ways that make analysis faster and easier.”

They also plan to mine the collected video data later in order to find e g insurgency patterns, but the sheer amount of raw video is hard to deal with, especially when you have to have it watched by human eyes. Of course these processes are being made more and more automatic, but for the time being, as the article states:

“You need somebody who’s trained and is accountable in recognizing that that is a woman, that is a child and that is someone who’s carrying a weapon,” […] “And the best tools for that are still the eyeball and the human brain.”


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