Check out this interesting video Big Data and the Big Apple from Foursquare’s Data Scientist Blake Shaw (@metablake). This is one great example of how a social tool (like Foursquare) can be used to plot and track large amounts of data in a particular city or area.
Tools like Foursquare can be used to track popular locations and people traffic, revealing the overall structure and flow of the city itself. Open platform applications like Foursquare could drastically influence urban development, as it shows everything from purchasing trends to frequented locations, all while capturing a large quantity of information. This means we could better strategically plan the future of our cities, using this real-time behavioral trend data.
Foursquare is both an app and a platform, so developers can build on Foursquare, pull data from Foursquare, connect to Foursquare, and more. The future of city and software development is these APIs paired with excellent data management.
This is the type of influence Big Data can have on Milwaukee, as more and more individuals and organizations adopt the open data policies encouraged by the Milwaukee Data Initiative.