IBM uses advanced data analytics to create a world-class environment laboratory

IBM employs Big Data for pioneering smart lake project

IBM will supply state-of-the art water management technology to turn state of New York’s major natural attraction into a world-class environment laboratory.

Advanced data analytics, visualisation techniques, 3D computer modelling and simulations will be used to sort out large amounts of data gathered through scientific sensors. The team comprised of researchers from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, IBM, and the FUND for Lake George will analyse all possible aspects of the life of the ecosystem including water circulation, distribution of nutrients and pollutants, storm water runoff and invasive species.

The three-year, multi-million ‘Jefferson Project at Lake George,’ is the largest undertaking of its kind. For IBM it is another part of the company’s Smarter Planet initiative that seeks to find data-analytics based solutions for many problems of today’s world – including smart grids, water management systems, solutions to traffic congestion or better resource utilisation.

"Through the Jefferson Project, Rensselaer, the FUND for Lake George, and IBM will help advance the state of the science and the practice of water management to create a more precise, actionable and sustainable model that will give us a path forward," said John E. Kelly III, senior vice president and director of IBM Research.  

Lake George, about 80km north of Albany in upstate New York, is known for its crystal-clear waters. Up to 60m deep, 51km long and up to 4km wide, the lake was formed nearly 10,000 years ago by melting glaciers. The project's ultimate aim is to understand its natural processes to the best possible extent, in order to be able to protect it from degradation.

"Lake George has a lot to teach us, if we look closely," said Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson. "By expanding Rensselaer's Darrin Fresh Water Institute with this remarkable new cyberphysical platform of data from sensors and other sources, and with advanced analytics, high performance computing, and web science, we are taking an important step to protect the timeless beauty of Lake George, and we are creating a global model for environmental research and protection of water resources."

IBM will provide hardware, software and supporting services to help create a new, Smarter Water laboratory and visualization studio. IBM’s Smarter Water experts plan to pair their expertise with this new technology to help local leaders see a real-time picture of the current and future computer modelled conditions, water chemistry, and health of the natural systems.

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