Monday, July 26, 2010
Some of you might already be familiar with Google's flu trends which uses search terms to track the prevalence of flu. Although this might seem like a crude tool it is actually surprisingly accurate and gets the data much faster than the CDC does because it has such a huge volume of data to mine.
The video above shows the results from the project by Northwestern University grad students that uses data from the Where’s George? website that tracks the movement of U.S. paper currency. Again, this surprisingly crude tool is able to amass so much data (they have over 200 million bills in their system!) it has revealed valuable lessons about the movement of people and therefore for the way that diseases like flu might spread. There was an article in the New York Times about the project last year.