The Economist published a collection of articles on this topic. There is a big opportunity here; The premise is: as the number of sensors collecting data on everything from traffic conditions, plants, atmosphere, so forth will increase dramatically, a new breed of monitoring, processing software type will emerge that can alert, generate reports based on real-time data received from sensors. A new sector can form around writing / maintaining such software.
On software architecture side of things, I came across SemSorGrid4Env that was created in the EU. It looks good, the direction sounds right.
My expectation on the data side of things is this; governmental / public data from sensors must be open and free, published in a computer digestable format, and regularly. This way a cottage industry can form around public sensor data.
In terms of education, kids who are 18 years old, must have the necessary knowledge and understanding to be able to process, present data using a computer language, and be able to create mash-ups using this data. Kids should be able to perform these feats in their sleep.
For most, the future will be about data; modeling, sifting through and trying to make sense of this data as a skill will be essential.
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