- Historical epidemics, such as the plague during the Middle Ages, were only able to move slowly since people could only travel a few kilometers a day.
- People today travel at much faster rates, so the rate disease spreads has to be faster.
- Three physicists used the bill movement data at www.wheresgeorge.com to simulate the movement of people.
- The data will drastically improve the predictions about the movement of disease during an epidemic.
My $0.02: With a pandemic looming on the horizon, a discovery like this can improve our ability to predict the disease's movement on a macroscopic scale. This discovery also helps to show how much power a thriving online community can have in the real world.