GeoLife was shown at TechFest in Redmond this week by Yu Zheng (Microsoft Researcher). I figured it was applicable and you might be interested.
What is GeoLife? GeoLife is a GPS-data-driven social network on Microsoft Virtual Earth. It is not only a Website where individuals can manage, visualize, and understand their life experience using their own GPS trajectories; it’s also a social networking service that enables people to build connections with each other based on location histories.
What’s all the hub-bub? The increasing availability of GPS-enabled devices is changing the way people interact with the Web and brings us a large number of GPS trajectories representing peoples location histories. Such real-world location histories imply, to some extent, users interests and intentions and enable us to understand people and locations. GeoLife 2.0 is a location-based social-networking service on Virtual Earth that enables people to build connections with each other using their location histories. With multiple users GPS trajectories, GeoLife helps us not only understand an individual and a location, but also explore the similarity between users and the correlation among locations. By mining the similarity between peoples location histories, this system can help a user automatically discover potential friends in a community who might share similar interests. Thus, the user can conveniently deliver invitations to persons in the community and hence sponsor, with minimal effort, a social activity such as hiking, cycling, or traveling. From these potential friends past experiences, a trustworthy resource, the user is more likely to discover places that might match the users tastes. We have had 112 people using this system over a period of a year. We have collected more than 7 million GPS points, and the total distance of the data set surpasses 170,000 kilometers.
For a full list of demos from TechFest 2009, you can check out the Microsoft Research web site. You’ve gotta love this Brave New World.