Search Mailing List Archives

Limit search to: Subject & Body Subject Author
Sort by: Reverse Sort
Limit to: All This Week Last Week This Month Last Month
Select Date Range     through    

[liberationtech] This technology could have applications in developing countries...

Yosem Companys companys at
Sun Jul 6 11:08:36 PDT 2008

I know a similar technology was used by the WTO protesters in Seattle to
track the movement of the police and reduce the likelihood of violence.Yosem

June 29th, 2008 Cell phones tracking nightlife

Posted by Roland Piquepaille @ 9:40 am

A Columbia University computer science professor has co-founded a New
York-based company named *Sense Networks* to sell tracking software to other
companies. It is also distributing a free version of this software named *
Citysense*, which shows on your cell phone where the wild things are
happening <> in your own
town. Citysense 'uses advanced machine learning techniques to number crunch
vast amounts of data emanating from thousands of cell-phones, GPS-equipped
cabs and other data devices to paint live pictures of where people are
gathering.' Citysense is available today in San Francisco before being soon
deployed in Chicago and five other U.S. cities. But read more…

[image: Citysense in San Francisco]

You can see on the left how "Citysense shows the overall activity level of
the city, top activity hotspots, and places with unexpectedly high activity,
all in real-time." (Credit: Sense Networks <>)
Here is a link to additional information and a larger
version<>of this picture. As
you can see, the application is available on Blackberry
devices. But an iPhone version is in the works.

This software has been developed by Tony
an Associate Professor in Computer Science at Columbia University and
director of the Machine Learning lab <>.
Jebara founded Sense Networks with several partners including MIT's Alex
Pentland <>. Here is a link to the
Citysense <> web site.

And here are some quotes from Jebara about this project. "'We are providing
consumers with free applications on their mobile phones for visualizing
several cities: 'where is everyone?,' 'where should I go eat?,' 'which jazz
bar would I like?,' 'where would I like to go shopping?' and so on,' Jebara
says. Gaining access to the hottest locales with Citysense involves a trade
off for users: information on their own whereabouts is also fed into the
system. While all information gathered is anonymous, the data could be a
goldmine for marketers and consumer researchers looking to enhance sales
pitches, learn where people actually shop, or don't, and tweak emerging
retail trends as they evolve."

But how exactly does Citysense work?
<>"Citysense is an application
that operates on the Sense Networks Macrosense
platform, which analyzes massive amounts of aggregate, anonymous location
data in real-time. Macrosense is already being used by business people for
things like selecting store locations and understanding retail demand. But
we asked ourselves: with all this real-time data, what else could we do for
a city? Nightlife enhancement was the obvious answer. This release is just a
test, and we're interested in your feedback on how to make the application
better. You'll find a feedback button in Citysense."

And what's next? "When you use Citysense, the application learns about the
kinds of places you like to go from GPS – without ever sharing that
information. In its next release, Citysense will not only tell you where
everyone is right now, but where everyone like YOU is right now. The
application will compare your history and preferences with those of other
users, and show you where you're most likely to find people with similar
tastes at that moment. So each person's nightlife map will look a little
different, and will display a unique top hotspot list. Cool, huh? That's why
we save your location when you use Citysense: to remember what you like. Of
course, you don't have to keep a personalized nightlife profile. You can
delete your data from our system anytime you want. You created your data:
you own it."

The Citysense application was widely covered by the press at the beginning
of June 2008 — check the Sense Networks Media
Center<>for example. One
of the most interesting features of Citysense was covered
by Brady Forrest in a post on O'Reilly
9, 2008). "In addition to these sexy visualizations they included an
alarm lock that will wake you up earlier if the city is busier than normal
before your commute (set it for 7:30 and sometimes it will get you up at
7:28, but on busier days you might be hitting the snooze at 7:21)." I'm not
sure to like this feature…

*Sources: David Poratta, Columbia University News, June 20, 2008; and
various websites*
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the liberationtech mailing list