Sometimes you walk to the end of lab, here in CASA, get introduced to a visitor and have to take a step back at the resulting demo. Yesterday i had the pleasure of meeting Tobias Franke of the University of Passau's Embedded System Lab who is part of a team looking at realtime crowd densities. Tobias has run a trial during the 2011 Lord Mayor's Show in London. The "hotter" (i.e. red) the blobs are, the denser the crowd was at that location, the resulting visualisation is impressive:
Crowd Density at the Lord Mayor's Show 2011 (London, UK) from Tobias Franke on Vimeo.
The data was been gathered by a smartphone application collecting live sensor data from users.
The heatmap and the corresponding visualization was realised by Martin Wirtz of the ETH Zurich's Wearable Computing Lab with Prof. Eve Mitleton-Kelly (director of the Complexity Group at the London School of Economics) involved in the development as policy maker.
The overall system allows emergency services to gain an almost-live insight into the crowd density at large scale events. The software has been developed as a part of the Socionical research project (for more information see socionical.eu), in short we were impressed at the real time crowd viz via a smart phone app...