Facebook is now using its important research strength to develop detailed maps of places it believes people are living, and will determine what factors are influencing their online activity. The charts should assist Facebook in determining where internet-beaming drones would best be placed. Currently, ten percent of the global population does not have access to the internet.
The venture belongs to Facebook’s Connectivity Labs, the tech limb of their successful project Internet.org, which handles drones, broadcast satellites, and optical lasers with the aim of providing internet access to remote locations and growing nations. Alongside improved mapping, the corporation is in a position to see whether wireless/Wi-Fi open spots or mobile solutions would be more effective when delivering the internet—and Facebook—to the people.
“Whatever technological solution will eventually be used to connect these people, accurate knowledge about the population distribution is at the core of its development. Creating a data set with high spatial resolution for some of the countries that could benefit from better internet connectivity is a large undertaking,” states the report published by Facebook. “Aggregate population counts on the spatial scale of provinces or districts are known from population censuses but alone are insufficient, as these areas vary in geographical size and do not provide insight about population distributions on a granular level.“
To create the maps, Connectivity Labs worked in collaboration with Facebook’s information research department, substructure department, and machine studying and artificial-intelligence teams. The group evaluated planet images of twenty nations, covering 21.6 million square kilometers; the images amounted to three hundred and fifty terabytes of information.
Working with a combination of computer sight strategies—such as the picture-identification system Facebook utilizes to recognize customers’ faces in pictures—the group managed to identify man-made structures. The corporation emphasized that it did not utilize any Facebook images when making their data files.
The parent company perfected the charts by making use of machine understanding and artificial intelligence practices. By using these methods, the company was able to successfully distinguish man-made structures, allowing them to pinpoint locations that had people living there.
Once the buildings had been put forth, Facebook was able to determine where and how the individuals reside. Then, by making use of census information, the group redistributed the citizenry records for the pinpointed locations—under the prediction that the technique was unlikely to create an error—allowing them to identify the amount of men, women & children living in each and every construction.
The corporation has declared that it is planning to issue the information to the general public near the end of 2016. “Later this year, we will be releasing this data to the general public. We believe this data has many more impactful applications, such as socio-economic research and risk assessment for natural disasters. We will be working with the Center for International Earth Science Information Network at Columbia University to create a combined population data set to be released later this year,” says Facebook.
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