Using cellphones to track people's movements, study human behavior


What does your cellphone say about you? Not in the fashion sense—it says you’re a dork—, but what does it say about your behavior? It turns out, quite a lot.

A recent study tracked people’s movements using their cellphone. You take your cellphone around with you everywhere, so what better way to track someone? And wouldn’t you know it, most people are incredibly boring. It seems humans are “creatures of habit,” and that we largely do the same damn thing day in, day out. That’s definitely true for me: I’ve essentially had the same schedule since 2006. I’m about due for an Into the Wild moment, less the berry eating.

It also looks like people rarely more than 10km (6.2 miles) “on a regular basis,” whatever that means.

The point of all this people-tracking? It can help scientists study how diseases spread (or use Warcraft), or help engineers design roads with traffic patterns in mind.