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If all the brouhaha about iPhone location tracking fell on deaf ear with you, why not plot your logged location history on a world map, just for the kicks? Sure, you can do that with Pete Warden’s simple and lightweight iPhone Tracker tool for your Mac, but it won’t preserve your location data in the cloud. And while you’re at it, how about making this data actually useful by contributing your personal database of nearby WiFi hotspots and cellular towers (so says Apple) to good causes, from surveys into movement patterns of the human species to epidemiology? That’s exactly what OpenPaths does for you.

With openpaths, you can preserve your iPhone or iPad’s location information as well as visualize where you’ve been. You can even download your data in CSV and JSON format so you can remix it and use it in your own projects. What’s more, openpaths allows you to securely and anonymously donate your data to researchers who could use it to study mobility, transportation, land use, epidemiology, and overall make the world a better place.

It only takes a minute to plot your location data in a variety of ways…

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Just register over at the OpenPaths website and download the OpenPaths Uploader tool for Windows or Mac OS X to send your anonymized location history to the cloud. From there, you can visualize and share your cool location maps using their web app and even provide optional demographic information. Things get a little complicated if you’re running iOS 4.3.3 because it has reduced the size of the location database on your device to the last seven days. Fortunately, the app is clever enough to scan your iTunes device backups and even Time Machine to retrieve as much of your movement history as it can.

via Engadget

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