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"The Human Face of Big Data" Large Format Illustrated Book is Being Delivered Today by FedEx to 10,000 of the World's Most Influential People, Including World Leaders, Fortune 500 CEOs, and Nobel Laureates

Book Aims to Spark a Global Conversation About a Set of Tools and Technologies that Many Experts Believe Will Have a Greater Impact on Our World Than the Internet

SAUSALITO, Calif., Dec. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, in 30 countries around the globe, 10,000 copies of an extraordinary illustrated book called The Human Face of Big Data are arriving courtesy of EMC® (NYSE: EMC) and delivered by FedEx, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp., the official shipping sponsor, on the desks of the world's most influential people, including: United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, UK Prime Minister David Cameron, King Juan Carlos of Spain, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, Actor Robin Williams, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Warren Buffett, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Oprah Winfrey and Jane Goodall.

The book contains more than 200 stunning images and compelling essays, created by a team of over 100 of the world's most talented writers, designers and photojournalists, illustrating just some of the ways big data is already helping to shape and address many of the biggest challenges facing our planet. The concept of the book, and of The Human Face of Big Data project, revolves around the idea that our planet is developing a nervous system that many data experts believe will soon have a greater impact on our lives than the Internet. The book is accompanied by an interactive iPad app, which also launched today.

This ambitious project, conceived by "Day in the Life" series creator Rick Smolan and his partner Jennifer Erwitt, is made possible by primary sponsor EMC, along with support from Cisco and FedEx.

"Our goal is to help people better understand, visualize and navigate the wild and uncharted territory of Big Data," said Rick Smolan. "Big Data is just that - BIG. But, it's a term that is largely misunderstood and difficult to explain. This book and the accompanying interactive iPad app are designed to take readers on a journey of discovery about a topic that is going to completely transform the world our children will inherit. It's already enabling our kids to live healthier and happier lives; providing our seniors with independence while keeping them safe; helping us conserve our precious resources like water and energy; allowing us to peer into our own individual genetic makeup, and soon may allow us to alter our own species. All this and we've barely scratched the surface of what's possible."

The aim of simultaneously placing the book into the hands of 10,000 global influencers is to ignite a conversation about an extraordinary knowledge revolution that's sweeping, almost invisibly, through business, academia, government, health care and everyday life. This revolution is enabling humanity to sense, measure, understand and affect aspects of our existence in ways our ancestors could never imagined in their wildest dreams.

The Human Face of Big Data book will be the first book of its kind to be powered by an interactive viewer app from Aurasma. The free app brings the book's content to life by enabling readers to access video and other additional Internet content by simply pointing the camera on their smartphone or tablet towards flagged photos within the book. The free Human Face of Big Data Viewer app is available for download on iOS ( and Android devices (

Groundbreaking iPad App

In addition to the book, a groundbreaking Human Face of Big Data iPad app will enable users to interact and explore stories from the book, including videos, interactive charts and graphics. It will transport users into a Big Data ecosystem that is beginning to address some of the biggest challenges facing our species. The app costs $2.99 and is available for download today ( All proceeds from app downloads will be donated to Charity: water, a non profit organization bringing clear, safe drinking water to people in developing nations. 

Some of the stories told in the large format book and iPad app, include:

  • Elephant seals equipped with antennas on their heads to map the oceans
  • Satellites being used to target mosquitoes to help us better understand malaria
  • An SMS system preventing the sale of counterfeit medicines in Ghana
  • Smartphones that can predict you're going to get depressed
  • Credit cards that know two years before you do that you're headed toward divorce
  • Pills that transmit information directly from your body to your physician

Essays featured in the book and iPad app:

  • Big Data May Know Us Better by Dan Gardner
  • Reflections in a Digital Mirror by Juan Enriquez
  • Our Data, Ourselves by Kate Green
  • Dark Data by Mark Goodman
  • Pulse of the Planet by Esther Dyson
  • How Crowdsourcing is Changing Science by Gareth Cook
  • A Demographic of One by Michael Malone
  • The Art of Data by Aaron Koblin
  • Data Driven by Jonathan Harris

Excerpted Quotes from the Book:

  • "From the dawn of civilization until 2003, humankind generated five exabytes of data. Now we produce five exabytes every two days ... and the pace is accelerating." – Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Google
  • "We now have the chance to become the center of our own knowledge universe, one that constantly reconfigures itself to match our needs." – Michael S. Malone, op-ed contributor to the Wall Street Journal
  • "Today a street stall in Mumbai can access more information, maps, statistics, academic papers, price trends, futures markets, and data than a U.S. president could only a few decades ago." – Juan Enriquez, Managing Director Excel Venture Management
  • "Soon we will salt the oceans, the land, and the sky with uncounted numbers of sensors invisible to the eyes but visible to one another." – Esther Dyson, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist and Commentator
  • "Criminals, terrorists, and hackers understand the power of our interconnectivity: if you control the code you control the world." – Marc Goodman, Global Security Advisor and Futurist

The Human Face of Big Data is a global crowdsourced project that also includes: an iPhone and Android app, Mission Control Events in New York, London and Singapore, Data Detectives--a global student initiative--and a documentary film that will be released in 2013. For more information on any of these elements of the campaign visit -

Quote from Primary Project Sponsor EMC

"The Human Face of Big Data is the most engaging and captivating attempt ever to tap into, and put a human face on, the societal impact of Big Data," said Jeremy Burton, Executive Vice President, Product Operations and Marketing, at EMC. "This ground-breaking book and iPad app will raise public consciousness of the vital role that Big Data is playing in addressing some of the world's biggest challenges and will help ensure that this project will have a lasting and meaningful impact."

Quotes from Supporting Sponsors Cisco and FedEx

"The FedEx networks have the unique assets, expertise and connections to make a project of this kind – with shipping needs spanning air, land and ocean – possible," said Rob Carter, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer for the FedEx Corporation. "With information logistics, we are changing the way people move and receive information, providing customers with unprecedented visibility into key events happening in their businesses and their lives. So, FedEx is proud to be the official shipping sponsor for the Human Face of Big Data project, helping to generate more meaningful conversations about this important subject." 

"Cisco is proud to sponsor The Human Face of Big Data project and to help share compelling stories and inspiring images of how data transforms our world," said Carlos Dominguez, senior vice president at Cisco. "We see great potential for value in the real time data created by connecting more things and people to the network."

About the Sponsors:

The Human Face of Big Data project is editorially independent and is made possible through the generous support of EMC Corporation, which serves as the primary sponsor. Supporting sponsorship comes from Cisco Systems, FedEx, VMWare, Tableau and Originate.

EMC Corporation is a global leader in enabling businesses and service providers to transform their operations and deliver IT as a service. Fundamental to this transformation is cloud computing. Through innovative products and services, EMC accelerates the journey to cloud computing, helping IT departments to store, manage, protect and analyze their most valuable asset – information – in a more agile, trusted and cost-efficient way. Additional information about EMC can be found at

Cisco is the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate. As data grows bigger, our planet continues to shrink, connecting people and things in new and innovative ways. It's an exciting time of possibilities and change for the entire world. These changes are happening day-by-day, minute-by-minute, as the amount of internet traffic traversing the network continues to grow, providing infinite paths to improve our world. From solving global health issues to predicting natural disasters to improving education, the human potential is both daunting and amazing. At Cisco we understand the potential of data and we have a passion for creating intelligent solutions to collect, manage, and evaluate data at the speed of human communications. Cisco is proud to be a sponsor of The Human Face of Big Data. More at-

The Cisco Networking Academy, with 10,000 academies in 165 countries, trains over a million students each year with the skills needed to build, design, manage, and secure computer networks. The academy helps students prepare for industry-recognized certifications and entry-level information and communication technology (ICT) careers in virtually every type of industry. To learn more visit

FedEx is proud to be the Official Shipping Sponsor of The Human Face of Big Data. In 1978, FedEx chairman and CEO Fred Smith said, "The information about the package is just as important as the package itself." Today, FedEx provides customers with access to near real-time information that has enabled new supply chain models and efficiencies. This unprecedented access to information is connecting customers around the world to economic markets and communities. FedEx, the company that revolutionized global business practices by providing next-business-day delivery service, leveraged the reach, strength, and reliability of its network to ship 10,000 individual copies of The Human Face of Big Data photo book around the globe. From the earliest commercial handhelds in 1980, to equipping vehicles with radio computers in 1984, to making package tracking available on the world's first transactional website in 1994, FedEx has always sought the edge of innovation.

About The Human Face of Big Data

The Human Face of Big Data is a globally crowdsourced media project focusing on the new ability to collect, analyze, triangulate and visualize vast amounts of data in real time. The project includes a free mobile app, Mission Control briefing events, a student Data Detectives initiative, a large-format book with more than 200 photographs along with essays and infographics, an iPad app and a documentary.

The Human Face of Big Data was produced by Rick Smolan and Jennifer Erwitt, co-founders of Against All Odds Productions, which specializes in the design and execution of large-scale, crowdsourced global projects that combine compelling storytelling with state-of-the-art  technology. To produce these projects, Smolan and Erwitt invite teams of leading journalists and photographers (plus members of the general public) to come together to focus on emerging topics such as the global water crisis, the effect of the Internet on civilization or how the human race is learning to heal itself. Their projects result in bestselling illustrated books, TV specials, apps, exhibits and hundreds of millions of media impressions. Fortune magazine described Against All Odds Productions as "one of the coolest companies in America."

To learn more, go to  and follow the project on Twitter and Facebook.

EMC® is a registered trademarks of EMC Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

SOURCE Against All Odds Productions

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