Interesting application - food for thought: something similar could be done for a variety of events (such as large conferences). While this system is designed around real-time movements of people (a "where are they" pulse) - similar pulses could be derived around "what are they reading", "what are people talking about" - we see evidence of these signal correlations, or pulses, in XML syndication and social filtering platforms. As I've posted about before, "social analytics" is perhaps the most compelling aspect of the entire Web 2.0 / Enterprise 2.0 meme.
'Wiki City Rome' to draw a map like no other
Residents of Italy's capital will glimpse the future of urban mapmaking next month with the launch of "Wiki City Rome," a project developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that uses data from cellphones and other wireless technology to illustrate the city's pulse in real time.
The project will debut Sept. 8 during Rome's "Notte Bianca" or white night, an all-night festival of events across the capital city. During that night, anyone with an Internet connection will be able to see a unique map of the Italian capital that shows the movements of crowds, event locations, the whereabouts of well-known Roman personalities, and the real-time position of city buses and trains.
The map will also be broadcast on a big-screen display in one of Rome's main squares in the city center, giving Romans real-time feedback on the human dynamics in their immediate surroundings.
By looking at a city using a "real-time control system" as a working analogy, the Wiki City project studies tools that enable people to become prime actors themselves in improving the efficiency of urban systems. In coming years, the Wiki City project will develop as an open platform where anybody can download and upload data that are location and time sensitive.