Crowdsourcing began as a legitimate tool to leverage the wisdom of the crowds to solve complex business and scientific challenges. Unfortunately, these very same techniques are increasingly being adopted by the criminal underground for nefarious purposes.
A research project called Livehoods, from Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science, aims to shed some light on how people really inhabit their cities—and how this changes over time—by mapping data collected from 18 million Foursquare check-ins.
Livehoods offer a new way to conceptualize the dynamics, structure, and character of a city by analyzing the social media its residents generate. By looking at people’s checkin patterns at places across the city, the researchers create a mapping of the different dynamic areas that comprise it. Each Livehood tells a different story of the people and places that shape it.
A. Townsend, Research Director at the Institute for the Future, talked in yesterday’s WOBI video about top-down and bottom-up smart city solutions.