00:31We have spent millions of dollars to explore the surface of the moon.
00:37Minerals, what's the depth and extent of ore bodies?
00:42How much water is there?
00:45What’s the topography?
00:47Where are the best transportation routes?
00:50How much will they cost per mile?
00:52Where are the best landing sites?
00:57We have spent millions of dollars to explore the surface of the moon.
01:02But, what do we really know about the earth, and its resources?
01:08Where are those resources?
01:09How great are they?
01:13We are in a race against time.
01:16One billion people are hungry.
01:19All their time is used to find food.
01:22They are losing the race.
01:24The world is losing their potential contribution.
01:29How can productivity be increased?
01:33What resources can be developed?
01:36How fast, and at what cost?
01:40How should the benefits be distributed?
01:45We need information.
01:47Data on resources have been piling up for years, even in the newest countries.
01:52The problem is, how to store it, measure it, and analyze it.
01:58Just to look at it, using conventional methods, would take years and years.
02:16To make decisions, we need facts; but we have facts.
02:21We have all seen soil maps and census figures.
02:24So what’s the problem?
02:27The problem is not making the surveys, it is trying to read and summarize the results of the surveys.
02:34The amount of work involved in handling this data is enormous.
02:38Even the simplest operations take hundreds of people.
02:46Raw data and statistics have to be cataloged, stored, summarized, before the data can be used to make decisions.
02:57The process is painfully slow.
03:01It's bad enough when you’re handling census data.
03:04It's even worse when you have to handle maps.
03:07And, so much of our land information comes only in maps.
03:15Suppose an administrator wants to find out how much good farming land in his province is still undeveloped, and where.
03:23He has to compare the maps showing good farming areas with the ones showing present land use.
03:29But they are not of the same scale.
03:33First, one map must be remade as a transparent overlay at the exact scale of the other map.
03:46Checked. Retouched. Positioned.
04:06To measure the area where both factors overlap, you will probably use a dot grid, a method that hasn’t changed since the days of ancient Egypt.
04:15What if he wants to consider other factors, such as the incomes of the people?
04:20Crop yields in a certain soil, forestry, wildlife, recreation, climate, census data...
04:36To compare two factors over 100 square miles will take one man a whole working day.
04:42To compare only six basic factors for all of Canada would take 556 people, eight hours a day, for three years.
04:51It would cost $8,000,000.
04:54But we don’t have the staff; we don’t have the time.
04:58More resource data comes in every year, every month, every day.
05:02Crop and forest assessment, soil surveys, forestry surveys, timber pest counts, wildlife surveys, sampling, analysis, and many others.
05:26Where have surveys been made?
05:28Where do new surveys need to be made?
05:31To make our decisions wisely, we will need every bit of this information, and even more.
05:37Human beings alone can’t handle this vast amount of information.
05:42But if we harness the computer, and use it to extend our abilities, then we can.
05:49At the moment, the government is rather like a farmer who has just inherited his farm.
05:54He doesn’t really know how big the farm is, perhaps he doesn’t know much about the soil.
05:59He hasn't got too much idea about the climate, and he's not really sure whether there's usable water.
06:06And yet, he has to make decisions that will let him plant the right seed, and grow enough food to support his family.
06:15And if you think that would be a problem on an ordinary-sized farm, think what it would be like with a million square miles.
06:24The Canada Land Inventory is trying to tackle this problem in two ways.
06:28Firstly, it's trying to gather together the basic information that we need to know about the country.
06:35Secondly, it's trying to find out some way of handling this information.
06:41We like to think that we've got a system that can accept the information, can store it, can analyze it, and present the results in a usable form.
06:52A system that can do this, not in years, but in hours.
Data for Decision, 1967 [short version]
- Recorded: Jan 1st, 1967
- Runtime: 06:58
- Views: 13014
- Published: Oct 25th, 2010
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