Saturday, June 07, 2008

Secret Study Reveals Geosocial Networking Patterns

A 'secret' study of human mobility patterns just published in Nature makes the case that most people stay close to home and visit the same places over and over and over again.

The study looked at the trajectory of 100,000 anonymized mobile phone users whose position was tracked for a six-month period.

The results indicate that "human trajectories show a high degree of temporal and spatial regularity, each individual being characterized by a time-independent characteristic travel distance and a significant probability to return to a few highly frequented locations."

The study highlights how space, time and social patterns are inexorably intertwined in our environments - especially urban environments.

Understanding these geosocial networking patterns offers the opportunity to design better transportation systems, urban plans, emergency response systems, target marketing, provide for security and law enforcement and much more.

The study also highlights one of the more advanced concepts of Geosocial Networking - connectedness. In this instance, we're not talking about connectedness as one of the baseline assumptions of U.S. foreign policy, but rather a mix of the mathematical definition of connectedness combined with the assertion that people can connect with each other through shared experiences at common places they visit over and over again.

- Jeff


At 6/09/2008 01:01:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is also true in a sense to Web browsing and why companies invested alot of $$ in being a 'portal' and a 'home page'. Most users will not go far from their origin pages.

At 6/09/2008 02:02:00 PM, Blogger Jeff Harrison said...

Yep, other studies have shown that most kids use no more than six internet destinations ( I can't remember where I heard that though)

Seems that what's true in realspace is true in cyberspace - and proves that people are creatures of habit.


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