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What to do with Thousands of GPS Tracks

John Krumm, Microsoft Research

Date: Tuesday, May 29
Time: 4:38pm - 4:45pm
Location: Imperial Ballroom

Two years ago we started collecting GPS data from volunteer drivers with vague intentions of doing interesting research projects with it. Now, with over 1.4 million data points from almost 200 drivers, our vague intentions have panned out in the form of three projects that show how useful it is to have data like this:

  • Predestination – We can predict your destination as you drive, which means we can give traffic warnings and location-based ads with enough time for you to actually act on them. Our predictions are based on simple models of drivers’ behavior that we derived from our data.
  • Location Privacy – Lots of people complain that leaked GPS tracks could be used to infer your identity, but no one has ever verified this. Are they right or are they just whiners? We show they’re right in some cases, and we experiment with ways of altering the GPS data to make it identity-resistant.
  • Personalized Routes – When you ask the Web for a driving route, you can ask for the shortest or fastest, but why can’t you get one that tends to stick to your favorite roads? We created a new router that looks at where you’ve driven before as a guide to the roads you like to drive.