If you want to model the world, look into these online databases

MIT’s Technology Review lists 70 online databases that one could look into in order to model our complex world.

Having used several of the social sciences databases listed here, I am impressed with several features of such databases:

1. The variety of data one can quickly find. (There is a lot of data being collected in the world today.)

2. The openness of this data to users rather than being restricted just to the people who collected the data.

3. The growing ability to do a quick analysis within the database websites.

To me, this is one of the primary functions of the Internet: making good data (information) on all sorts of subjects available to a wide cross-section of users.

Now, with all of this data out there and available, can we do complex modeling of all of social life or natural life or Earthly life? Helbing’s Earth Simulator, mentioned in this story, sounds interesting…

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