Facebook PixelZoomable global heatmap of mass gatherings at any specific time/place
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Zoomable global heatmap of mass gatherings at any specific time/place

Image credit: The New York Times

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Nov 13, 2021
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A global, zoomable heatmap that lets you see where people are likely to gather at any given time in the future.
Events like festivals, concerts, protests, popular nightspots, beaches, busy streets, shopping centers, etc. would light up on the map. For any area, you could see the estimated number of people per square meter per hour in a selected timeframe.
Why?
  • People like to be around other people. This system lets anyone see where interesting places are.
  • Useful to marketers and salespeople to identify the hotspots and prepare campaigns around them.
  • Plan your vacation to coincide with the most interesting times in the area.
How it works
A google-maps-like platform overseen by reputable moderators/editors, similarly to how Wikipedia operates.
Anyone can submit:
  • Future events and estimated number of people. The estimates have to be backed up by some data.
  • Busy streets at any given hour of the day, day of the week and time of year
  • Tourists attractions, vacation hotspots
  • Nightlife hotspots, promenades, clubs, restaurants, shopping centers
  • etc.
The moderators check the data and approve/reject submissions.
Anyone can point out wrong estimates and submit modification requests. This gets reviewed by the moderators before any changes are made.
I imagine spam could be a problem. People could try to submit inflated numbers to promote their business as more popular than it actually is.
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Creative contributions

Useful for advertising/marketing purposes

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Oguntola Tobi
Oguntola Tobi Nov 16, 2021
I believe the idea is useful for marketing/advertising purposes, too. Think billboards rented for those periods as well as person to person marketing techniques, among others.
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Webcam based software counting and AI predictions

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Nov 14, 2021
A webcam/software based counter could be placed on any busy street, shopping mall, tourist spot, etc. and directly plugged into such a system. After a year of counting the pedestrian traffic estimations should be pretty accurate.
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Using this for pandemics precautions

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Povilas S
Povilas S Nov 16, 2021
Such a map can also be helpful to track/predict the spread of covid-19 and other future pandemics and for people to know in advance which places and when globally are more dangerous/safe to be at.
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General comments

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Spook Louw
Spook Louw22 days ago
Perhaps I've been spending too much time reading the news, but the first thing I thought while reading this was that it would be a massive safety concern as it would effectively pinpoint where people with ill intentions could cause the most harm. I realize, however, that this is a pretty negative way of approaching the idea and that the truth is that people who intend to cause harm will be able to do so with or without such a tool, it's just a thought that I believe needs to be mentioned.
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Juranium24 days ago
Maybe this article can help you here. A guy created an apparent Google Maps traffic jam on Berlin streets by wheeling 99 phones in a wagon. Google said they estimate the traffic by accessing geolocation of the phones with Google Maps "track location" feature ON. They also can distinguish the pedestrians who walk, ride a bicycle, scooters, etc., from cars.
I think your idea could easily be done by not showing the car density, but the pedestrian, since the algorithm already exists. To avoid privacy issues, the app you proposed could show only places where gatherings of 50+ people are happening.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic24 days ago
Juran Google or Apple can do it because they have access to people's devices. Anyone else would have to rely on external data sources.
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