Strange Bedfellows: Social Networking and Science

Don’t look now but the last tweet you sent may be helping an epidemiologist predict the next influenza path.  Your mobile phone’s movements from city to city may be residing in a database somewhere assisting sociologists tasked with studying human behaviour. To illustrate, take a 2 minute break to watch this video. It was made entirely of tweets people sent from airports saying they just landed somewhere.

Jer Thorp takes social data and creates visualization programs to make sense of the information available. If you found that 2-minute video interesting, you might enjoy listening to his TED talk in Vancouver — especially if you have an iPhone. Near the end of the video he talks about a program you can use to track your own life and tell a story that you may have forgotten.

Jer Thorp’s TED Talk: Make data more human


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