Processor board of a CRAY YMP vector computer ...
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A short post, sparked by two related items that arrived by Twitter and email almost simultaneously.

Via Twitter, TechnologyReview reports that it’s getting easier to visualise massive data sets without the traditional supercomputer.

Via email, the UK’s Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) announces its contribution of £200,000 to a joint funding call with the United States’ National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). The scope of the call? The challenge of working with Big Data. I’m very keen to see the bids to that particular call… and to see the innovation that answering its challenges will (hopefully!) spark.

Add to that my post last month about Amazon’s Public Data sets, and  the signs are getting ever-stronger that there are real opportunities here.

It’s getting easier to manage massive data sets. Those data sets are increasingly addressable over the Web. There’s growing interest in working across and between data sets, and there are even licenses to ensure that researchers can do what they need to.

Interesting times, indeed.

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