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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Slashdot and World Changing (finalist for a bloggie) reference an article to appear in Nature that explains how the bill tracking “game” Where’s George helped model the spread of epidemics.

The press release and a cool map are availble via Eurekalert. An excerpt:

The physicists were intrigued: Like viruses, money is transported by people from place to place. They found that the human movements follow what are known as universal scaling laws (from local to regional to long-distance scales). Using the game data, they developed a powerful mathematical theory that describes the observed movements of travelers amazingly well over distances from just a few kilometers to a few thousand. The study represents a major breakthrough for the mathematical modeling of the spread of epidemics.

“Since we can’t track people with tracking devices, like we do animals, we needed to get data that provided us with millions of movements of individuals,” explained Hufnagel. Scientists are already familiar with similar scaling laws from physical and biological systems. “What is amazing about these particular scaling laws is the fact that they are determined by two universal parameters only. This result surprised us all.”

It’s a good day when the “game” one plays turns out to help humanity.

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/26 at 11:49 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Heather Hopkins who works at HitWise and was involved with the stats I cited yesterday about how Google Earth was the #8 most searched term in the UK for a several week period in Dec/Jan has a blog post trying to figure out why. Worth a read if you, too, are curious about this cultural phenomena and why so many older folks are checking out Google Earth.

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/26 at 08:42 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Thanks to Google Map Mania for the reference list of URLs which included one to a short and effective review by Joey deVilla of what sounds like a short but effective (and inexpensive) e-book.

Google Maps API is probably both the best reference and tutorial on the Google Maps API you’re going to find outside of Google’s buildings. It’s an informative,  easy-to-digest and well-written book priced so low that you probably won’t notice it on your credit card bill.

I like that the medium is matching that about which it writes. That said, I just received a review copy of Google Maps Hacks from O’Reilly and hope to have a review soon.

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/26 at 08:31 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Sherry Thompson Giordano, the Executive Director for ITWomen, a volunteer-based non-profit organization of senior level professional women in information technology and related fields serving South Florida women has this request, which I share on her behalf:

“We have 5 networking/educational events a year specifically related to a technology or technology trends.  On April 19th we are conducting a Geospatial Technology presentation.  I have secured a speaker from Virginia who will address Geospatial Intelligence and I am looking for two speakers who would be local (Broward or Miami Dade Counties) who represent business users of Geospatial Technology, either in their product or service offering or usage in their day-to-day business operations.

“If anyone is interested in sharing how they apply Geospatial Technology I would be pleased to review with them the speaking opportunities we have for April 19, 2006.”

Contact: Sherry(at)

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/26 at 08:13 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

TechDirt reports that the company went public Wednesday, via Dutch Auction, a method that Google used. The odd part, says, Mike, has yet to turn a profit. He also points out that it’s not really a .com company, but a “real company.”

From the standpoint of location-based services, a good traffic provider is key, so this could be a winner when/if LBS ramps up…

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/26 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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