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Using Data to Find Bin Laden

Where they thought he was and where he was. Great piece — Geographers Had Predicted Osama’s Possible Whereabouts – ScienceInsider (thanks Daily Kos- Geographers predict Osama’s location) which tells the story of Thomas Gillespie, a UCLA geographer who, along with colleague John Agnew and a class of undergraduates, authored a 2009 paper predicting the terrorist’s whereabouts, were none too shabby. According to a probabilistic model they created, there was an 88.9% chance that bin Laden was hiding out in a city less than 300 km from his last known location in Tora Bora: a region that included Abbottabad, Pakistan, where he was killed last night.Continue readingUsing Data to Find Bin Laden

Osama bin Laden’s Death on Twitter

(Updated timeline to include subsequent accounts) There was, by all accounts, no Internet or phone access to Bin Laden’s compound. Had there been, might he have known about the attack in advance from social media? This depends on what was being said on twitter, and when. Although lots of people in Pakistan are on Facebook, twitter would have been more useful. There’s no clear timeline yet about when the US launched its attack on the compound. But had Osama’s people been monitoring the keyword ‘abbottabad’ (or people who had previously mentioned the word), which would have been smart, they would have known that something wasContinue readingOsama bin Laden’s Death on Twitter

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