Nowcasts: Predicting the Present

Unattributed, The Technium, Feb 23, 2011
Commentary by Stephen Downes

What's happening now? That's not as easy a question to answer as you might suspect. Where are there flu epidemics? Where are people growing morw wealthy? Where are they buying toys? "Nowcasting is a term used by the folks at Google to represent an analysis of large volumes of data that can be used to "forecast" current events for which official analysis has not been released. For instance, using these techniques one can "nowcast" what the current unemployment rate is before the official unemployment rate is determined. Google also calls this 'predicting the present.'"
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