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Big Data are all the Rage - for Mountains, too!

Type of publication Not peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (non peer-reviewed)
Author Gleeson Erin H., Greenwood Gregory,
Project Global Change and Mountain Regions: the Mountain Research Initiative Coordination Office
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Original article (non peer-reviewed)

Journal Mountain Research and Development
Volume (Issue) 35(1)
Page(s) 1
Title of proceedings Mountain Research and Development


Big data. For some, it is a vaguely apocalyptic term; for others, it represents a new era of understanding our environment and ourselves. Today, big data are being harnessed in ever more innovative ways that simply were not possible when we only had small sets of data to work with. Although mountain system research does not yet produce the vast quantities of data that are now common to other fields, there are nevertheless a lot of data that, if pooled, could provide new insights into how mountain socio-ecological systems function. As the Mountain Research Initiative's (MRI) Concerted Efforts progress (see Greenwood 2013), it becomes clear that it is time for the mountain research community to harness the lessons and power of at least "medium data" to develop a stronger, evidence-based understanding of both the generalities and the specificities of mountain systems