Your Movements Speak for Themselves: Space-Time Travel Data is Analytic Super-Food!

March 8, 2010

It doesn’t matter who you say you are!  Where you are (space), when you’re there (time), and your movements over time (travel) are closer to the truth.

I’ve seen a lot of data in my life, and I’d like to think I have a decent grip on what can be accomplished with data and analytics.  However, I recently stumbled upon some facts that have radically reshaped my understanding of the world we are living in.  What I thought was years away is already here! Our toes are dangling over the edge of a very different future.

Now, before you get all worked up, remember: You have helped create this, most folks love this, and most will continue to eat this up despite the obvious consequences.

Mobile devices in America are generating something like 600 billion geo-spatially tagged transactions per day.  Every call, text message, email and data transfer handled by your mobile device creates a transaction with your space-time coordinate (to roughly 60 meters accuracy if there are three cell towers in range), whether you have GPS or not.  Got a Blackberry?  Every few minutes, it sends a heartbeat, creating a transaction whether you are using the phone