Do regional boundaries defined by governments respect the more natural ways that people interact across space? We revisit this work in-light of a meeting in a few minutes time....
Coming out of CASA and the MIT Sensable City Lab, the movie below looks at a novel, fine-grained approach to regional delineation, based on analyzing networks of billions of individual human transactions:
Given a geographical area and some measure of the strength of links between its inhabitants, the team details how to partition the area into smaller, non-overlapping regions while minimizing the disruption to each person's links. They tested the method on the largest non-Internet human network, inferred from a large telecommunications database in Great Britain. Our partitioning algorithm yields geographically cohesive regions that correspond remarkably well with administrative regions, while unveiling unexpected spatial structures that had previously only been hypothesized in the literature.
To be honest its worth heading over to the full paper and giving it a read... Carlo Ratti1, Stanislav Sobolevsky1, Francesco Calabrese1*,Clio Andris1, Jonathan Reades1,2, Mauro Martino1, Rob Claxton3, Steven H. Strogatz4
1 Senseable City Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America, 2 Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, University College London, London, United Kingdom, 3 BT Group, Ipswich, United Kingdom, 4 Department of Mathematics, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, United States of America