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Big Data in Animal Welfare

Autor:   •  April 17, 2016  •  Essay  •  427 Words (2 Pages)  •  670 Views

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Animals which roam free around the streets are a great problem as they lead to unexpected accidents to humans. Around 7.6 million dogs and cats are taken in by various shelters and organizations every year, and 2.7 million of those pets die every year. The causes of their death varies from poor health conditions, taken in by organizations at the wrong time, bad pet ownership but mostly the improper use of data and assumptions that are made about the pets. Every time pets are taken in by the organizations data such as when the animal was picked up, from which location, age, weight and height of the animal, collection circumstances and the health condition are noted down. The data is always there with the organizations but was never used. Proper data analytics with this kind of data helps solve this problem.

The ASPCA found out that improper use of the data is the cause of death of animals recently after the organization began using Geographic Information System (GIS) techniques to approach the problem in a totally new way: where are these unwanted cats and dogs coming from, and how can we ensure that more of them stay in happy homes?  Use of data analytics to tackle the issue helps ASPCA to decide on how to use their limited resources to target the issue. The team began collecting the data and mapping it using common GIS processes in order to figure out the usage of map data to solve problems.

Using the vast amount of data available and using tools like Hadoop and GIS, the team could figure out the hotspots of a location. Hotspots means the places where the number of unwanted pets picked up over the last attempts are high. They also analyze the geographic nature and psychology of people living in an area and how socio economic changes are impacting the life of common people which leads to bad pet ownership. Without the knowledge of where exactly animals tend to come from the ASPCA’s limited resources were being wasted; the resources would simply spread evenly which means some areas get unnecessary resources and some get too little. Once the shelters know where the resources are needed, they can pour them into those specific areas, using various time-tested means to prevent animals from being surrendered at shelters because their owners gave up.


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