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Twist on the iPhone Location Data Scandal
Posted By Joshua Condon On May 9, 2011 @ 6:15 am In Location-based services,Smartphones and PDAs | No Comments
Geolocation data isn’t just valuable to powerful corporate entities such as Apple and Google–it can also be useful to researchers in a variety of fields benefiting the public good.
In this civic-minded spirit, developers at the New York Times Company Research and Development Lab have created a Web-based tool called OpenPaths.cc , which aggregates the same iPad- and iPhone user data Apple had been collecting — user-submitted in this case, naturally — and makes it more widely available to customers and researchers. As Michael Zimbalist , director of the Times Company Research Lab, puts it, “Data is becoming the exhaust product of daily life, yet much of the data we generate is inaccessible to us.”
Those who opt into the service are asked to upload information from their phone, which is then anonymized and added to a database of all the other user-submitted information. An interactive map then allows users to browse their own location data; the plan is to later allow researchers to access to the database for various projects. In a way, OpenPaths.cc asks users to “donate” their location data for the greater good, allowing people to become, in Zimbalist’s words, “active collaborators in the quest for solutions to important problems in fields such as public health, genetics and urban planning.”
Read more from The New York Times .
Article printed from Inc. Technology: http://technology.inc.com
URL to article: http://technology.inc.com/2011/05/09/twist-on-the-iphone-location-data-scandal/
URLs in this post:
 OpenPaths.cc: https://openpaths.cc/
 Michael Zimbalist: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/05/a-tool-to-harvest-iphone-location-data/#more-64479
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