Location-based social networks are allowing scientists to study the way human patterns of behavior change in time and space, a technique that should eventually lead to deeper insights into the nature of society.
The increasing availability of big data from mobile phones and location-based apps has triggered a revolution in the understanding of human mobility patterns. This data shows the ebb and flow of the daily commute in and out of cities, the pattern of travel around the world and even how disease can spread through cities via their transport systems. So there is considerable interest in looking more closely at human mobility patterns to see just how well it can be predicted and how these predictions might be used in everything from disease control and city planning to traffic forecasting and location-based advertising.
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