A new UK start-up company has claimed it is about to revolutionise the way in which construction companies choose where to build, by telling them what's under the ground before they start construction work.
According to a press release on the Science & Technology Facilities Council website, the data-analytics company, Democrata, has been given access to big data facilities at the Science and Technology Facilities Council to develop a new way of predicting the risk of delay associated with the discovery of archaeological remains.
When a big construction project starts, there currently needs to be an archaeological investigation to ensure that historic sites are not destroyed.
Combining open data from sources such as Defra, English Heritage, Scottish Natural Heritage, Ordnance Survey and the Land Registry, alongside mapping the whole of the UK using a 3D geovisionary programme originally developed for the British Geological Survey, Democrata has built a programme of predictive algorithms to identify where historic artefacts might be found.
While such a project could revolutionise the way in which the construction industry chooses a site, The Science and Technology Facilities Council also suggests this concept could be developed to allow important archaeological areas to be protected.
Democrata won access to the Centre as part of a competition run in conjunction with the Open Data Institute. Working with Nesta, The Open Data Institute has also previously launched a Heritage and Culture Challenge on how we use open data to engage more people in UK heritage and culture. You can listen to a BBC Click Programme about the three winners and potential benefits of big data for the sector.