Distilling the idea of big data into image form isn’t always easy — large data files and lines of MapReduce code aren’t exactly visually compelling subjects. Photojournalist Rick Smolan has taken a different tact, however, by focusing not on what big data is, but on who big data is. His new book, The Human Face of Big Data, comes out in November, although it’s so much more than just some printed pages.

Smolan, whose previous forays into the tech world include the books 24 Hours in Cyberspace: Painting on the Walls of the Digital Cave and One Digital Day: How the Microchip is Changing Our World, is bringing his crowdsourced photography method to big data as part of a full-on global experiment. Before the book (which features photographs from a collection of photographers around the world) is released on Nov. 20 — in a mass delivery to 10,000…

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