Browse Prior Art Database

Application for Geographic Analysis of Human Movement

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000181130D
Original Publication Date: 2009-Mar-27
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2009-Mar-27
Document File: 3 page(s) / 150K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Criminal investigations often use digital fingerprints from for example cell phones or credit cards to track individuals. This disclosure describes a system that can integrate multiple digital fingerprints with available geographical coordinates from multiple individuals. The aim is to reveal associates with similar geographical movement and to provide a real time tracking tool that can alert authorities if an individual travels in areas of geographical interest.

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Application for Geographic Analysis of Human Movement

When typical criminal investigators want to establish who is in an area after a crime or who travels in geographical regions of special interest, research is limited to the individuals under investigation. However in order to catch associates, investigators are dependent on witnesses or other information.

    This work suffers from individual's memory, lack of resources to interview all individuals in an area, and takes investigators time. Also it offers no possibility of evaluating future threats.

    The application suggested uses an individual's electronic fingerprints (from electronic payment, cell phone signals, IP-numbers, passport check, public records or other non-electronic information material) to generate geographical coordinates and then compares distances to other coordinates from other individuals' electronic fingerprints (EF) made available to the application. Each coordinate is paired with a time stamp for the electronic fingerprint which allows for a timely resolution.

    When information of an individual's EF and potential associates' EFs have been made available to the application by connections to a database, an analysis can be performed when a time and distance delta have been defined in the application. The delta defines how close in time and distance EFs should be before the relationship is significant.

    The advantage of the application is that trends and relationships established by manually plotting areas of geographical interest (AGI) with information of suspects takes time and requires pre-selection of a limited number of individuals. The application can work on, for example, databases with credit card information of millions of individuals and find EFs from two or more individuals that suggest that the individuals have had contact. Such a computation would be impossible to perform manually but for the application the amount of data would not be significant and could include data from phone companies, credit card companies, internet service providers, and travel companies.

    It allows investigators with access to EFs from all individuals in an area to quickly get an overview of who was in which AGI at what time. The application could potentially set investigators in contact with individuals that they would otherwise never find. Based on the findings of an analysis similar movement paths and events within small time deltas could suggest that individuals were travelling together. The potential of the application is also to spot individuals that travel within AGIs that have been defined in the system by adding coordinates. A real time scenario could be scanning for potential terrorists that travel in certain a AGI.

    An example of the outcome of the application can be seen in the map included in this description. The overview of the workflow in the ap...