What do JRR Tolkien, JP Morgan Chase, the military, and rescue workers have in common? Palantir.
"The Palantír" is the title of the 11th chapter of Tolkien’s The Two Towers. The name refers to the "seeing stones" that allow one to view what is happening elsewhere. In 2004, the name was also taken on by a company that develops software organization to extract meaning from various streams of data to combat terrorism, fraud, and disaster damage.
Palantir distinguishes its approach from data mining by calling it "data surfacing." Read more at
For more on big data used by the army, see
"You can't have a data Tower of Babel" in which each system keeps its data isolated from other systems, Patrick Dreher, a senior technical director at DRC, told Military Information Technology.His company worked with the US Army on the Rainmaker cloud-based intelligence system, which integrates different data models used by the intelligence community. "For example, when Afghan drug lords finance Taliban insurgents, data from one database can be combined with Taliban financing data from an Army database inside the cloud, allowing analysts to make timely, critical connections and stay one step ahead of insurgents."