Climate Corp. is the new name of a company started by two former Google employees that have been applying big data analysis to climate data since 2006. The company first focused on weather, compiling all the freely available data from the U.S. Weather Service, and selling the insight to businesses dependent on weather forecasts as a type of insurance. The latest iteration of the company’s business model compiles “60 years of crop yield data, and 14 terabytes of information on soil types, every two square miles for the United States, from the Department of Agriculture,” with their weather data to make predictions on corn, soybeans and winter wheat.
Matching all of this historical publicly available data with freely available real-time publicly available data is a great business model. There is very little overhead, with all this free data and analysis done on Amazon’s Web Services computers. The company has a brain trust of analysts that create models and algorithms, and field analysts, but very little overhead other than their insight.
Learn more via this story on the New York Times’ Bits Blog.