Harnessing Big Data to Drive Environmental Progress: HP Earth Insights Develops Early Warning System to Support Conservation Efforts

Today at HP Discover Barcelona we unveiled an innovative collaboration between HP and Conservation International (CI) – HP Earth Insights.  At HP, we are committed to using our technology products and expertise to solve some of the world’s most complex challenges.  We are applying our big data capabilities to help CI scientists with their research into biodiversity loss across the world’s tropical forests, one of today’s most pressing ecological problems.  In fact, we created a first of its kind, early warning system that supports conservation efforts across monitored tropical forests. 

HP Earth Insights showcases how HP’s customized, end-to-end solutions are delivering results for our partners and, in this case, advancing environmental progress. 

HP Earth Insights

Last year, we joined forces with CI, a leading non-governmental organization (NGO) dedicated to protecting nature for people and ensuring a healthy and productive planet for local and global communities.  CI’s scientists told us that their biggest challenge was collecting, managing and analyzing the biodiversity and climate data they’ve captured at 16 sites across four continents.  

We recognized that this presented a unique opportunity to leverage the HP Vertica Analytics Platform, a cornerstone of our HAVEn Big Data solution to advance the CI research needs.  The Vertica Analytics Platform manages large and fast-growing volumes of data, which is exactly what this project collects. HP Earth Insights now holds three Terabytes of critical biodiversity information, including more than 1.4 million photos and more than three million climate measurements like precipitation, temperature, humidity and solar radiation.  

Our technology solutions dramatically improve the speed – nine times faster than before – and accuracy of data analysis. To generate usable species trends and deliver actionable information, our  HP Enterprise Services software engineers built a project dashboard and analytics tool – the Wildlife Picture Index (WPI) Analytics System – that allows for the visualization of user-friendly, near real-time data-driven insights to be accessed anytime, anywhere. 

Why it matters

Simply put: Tropical forests are home to some 30 million species, or half of all plants and animals on earth and generate 40 percent of the planet’s oxygen – but these precious resources are disappearing at an alarming rate of about 4.6 million hectares or 18,000 square miles per year, according to the United Nations Environment Programme

HP Earth Insights is already yielding new information that indicates a decline in a significant percentage of species monitored.  The insights will enable proactive responses to environmental threats, supporting the protection of hundreds of threatened and endangered species.

Most recent findings show that, of the 275 species being monitored by TEAM, 60 of them – or 22 percent – are either significantly decreasing or likely decreasing compared to baseline levels.  For example, the Western Gorilla, a Critically Endangered species that lives in the Republic of Congo (Nouabalé Ndoke), is likely declining – approximately 10 percent from the 2009 baseline.  This information is shared with fellow scientists worldwide as well as relevant park managers to support intervention and protection.

Until now, scientists had to manually collect and analyze this data from tropical forests – often taking weeks, months or more to analyze information – making it difficult to identify new patterns and intervene to protect biodiversity.  HP’s solutions are analyzing the data 89 percent faster and transforming the field of environmental science.

Through HP Earth Insights, we are providing technology solutions across the New Style of IT to drive real-time data analytics, demonstrate the power of our offerings and create tangible results for our customers and partners. 

HP Earth Insights showcases our end-to-end technology capabilities in action: from leveraging the Vertica Analytics Platform and the custom-built Wildlife Picture Index (WPI) Analytics System, to deploying ElitePads in tropical forests to capture data, building out the existing Cloud component to meet the project’s growing data needs and using HP ProLiant servers to power back-end data systems.  HP is positioned to address complex data challenges across diverse sectors, industries and organizations. Watch the video below to learn more about HP Earth Insights.