Predicting Where You’ll Go and What You’ll Like

“That’s the title of a story from the Sunday NYT Business page, on a company called Sense Networks, which aggregates billions of bits of location data to predict future movements. Two applications mentioned are predicting where taxis will be needed and what nightclubs people are likely to head toward.
Where does the location data come from? For the taxi application, it’s easy; just put GPSs on all your taxis and let the data roll in, all nicely timestamped. For the nightclub application, cell phone data.” From here.

4 Responses to “Predicting Where You’ll Go and What You’ll Like”

  1. Neal Lathia says:

    An interesting related story: modeling reality may be no longer necessary (i.e. the scientific method is out of date) http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/magazine/16-07/pb_theory

    With all this data flowing in, who needs a model? Just use the data!

  2. cool article. i loved this bit :-)
    “Forget taxonomy, ontology, and psychology. Who knows why people do what they do? The point is they do it, and we can track and measure it with unprecedented fidelity. With enough data, the numbers speak for themselves.”

  3. Neal Lathia says:

    And here is today’s rebuttal:
    http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080625-why-the-cloud-cannot-obscure-the-scientific-method.html

    What I like: “[nobody] should be happy with stopping at this level of understanding of the natural world”

  4. mike says:

    Thanks for posting the article, you saved me from buying Chris Anderson’s next book. And thanks from posting the rebuttal, you saved me from going on a long, shrill rant about the scientific method! :-D