Information, like light, flows through cities in interesting, often beautiful, patterns. Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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The Orion nebula is the brightest spot in the sword of the Orion, or the Hunter constellation. NASA hide caption

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Shwetak Patel (foreground), a MacArthur Fellow, recognized that every device in a home has a unique signature that can be used to track energy usage. The data collected by Patel's system showed that digital video recorders were responsible for 11 percent of this home's power use, just one example of The Human Face of Big Data. © Peter Menzel 2012/from The Human Face of Big Data hide caption

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