"Taxi data show Bostonians don't fear the cold"
An MIT contest reveals a portrait of the city through cab rides
"For yeaRS, Boston’s Department of Transportation has collected GPS data on every taxi pickup and drop-off throughout the city. It is an astonishing accumulation of raw numbers on how Bostonians get around, ripe with opportunity for analysis.
Until recently, there was a problem: There was no one to dive into it. “It was basically sitting on a hard drive waiting to be looked at,” said Vineet Gupta, director of policy and planning at the Boston Transportation Department.
Last November, the city handed over a big chunk of that data—comprehensive cab data from May to December 2012, or 2.3 million taxi rides—to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In a competition that ended in February, MIT offered two $4,000 prizes for the student groups that came up with the best interactive visualization and the best prediction model for taxi demand at spots around the city."
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Article by: Martine Powers / Globe Staff