Mobile Phone Location Patterns Show We Are Predictable Ramblers

A study on mobile phone location data - made over users calling every two hours on average - says that human moves are predictable 93 per cent of the time. And here I was, thinking that I was better than a bacteria.

The study - published last week in Science magazine - found out that no matter how far humans travel, they almost always do it in a predictable manner. For mobile phone users who stayed within an area with a radius of 10km, they could predict their moves with 97 per cent to 93 per cent accuracy. As they increased the radius, the predictability stayed at 93 per cent.

It seems logical, since we are animals that like to adopt certain customs. But while I don't need mobile phone location data to predict that Matt would visit Momofuku Milk Bar every two days, or that I would be eating buttery steak at El Almacen every week, this study could be extremely useful for architects designing urban spaces, engineers creating transportation networks, or - perhaps the most logical - telecommunication companies planning mobile phone tower locations and bandwidth capacity. [Science via Ars Technica]

Trending Stories Right Now