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Cloud tracks crowd behaviour

An experiment in a Danish music festival has shown how storing masses of data in the cloud and analysing it can predict how crowds will behave. The scope for improving safety as large numbers of people move around, as well as improving the services offered to them, is considerable.

The BBC reports on the development happening at the Rokslide music festival, which attracts around 130,000 people watching 170 performances over eight days. The Copenhagen Business School has developed what it calls “cloud analytics” (although where you store the information looks relatively unimportant to us, we’d have called this Big Data analytics) taking in information on weather, ticket sales, geolocation information from people’s phones and a great deal of other input.

The next move, coming this year, will be to make the information on where there are danger spots, where weather is causing hazards (from mud, for example) and even where beer is likely to run short, available to staff in real time.

The principle could presumably apply to events other than music festivals. Much of the technology is provided by IBM.