CACM, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, November 17, 2010
- Who is the White House's most frequent visitor?
- Which White House staffer has the most visitors?
- How do smoking quit rates, state by state, relate to unemployment, taxes, and violent crimes?
- How do politics influence U.S. Supreme Court decisions?
- How many earthquakes occurred worldwide recently?
- Where and how strong were they?
- Which states have the cleanest air and water?
The Rensselaer team has figured out how to find relationships among the literally billions of bits of government data, pulling pieces from different places on the Web, using technology that helps the computer and software understand the data, then combine it in new and imaginative ways as "mash-ups," which mix or mash data from two or more sources and present them in easy-to-use, visual forms.
By combining data from different sources, data mash-ups identify new, sometimes unexpected relationships. The approach makes it possible to put all that information buried on the Web to use and to answer myriad questions, such as answers to the questions asked above.