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Not my flight

I’m always curious about where the plane that I’m on has come from. When I started to travel more often, this remained a curiosity. A few times, I’d have a connecting flight that required passing through Canadian customs and I’d be running to make the flight, only to find out I was on the same plane. Often, I’ll select the same seat on all legs just to not have to remember my seat number more than once. This one time, I remember marking up one of the inflight magazine only to find the same markings.

Nowadays, services like FlightAware can take you back a few days on where that flight has traveled. Heck, if you pay, you can find out everywhere that tail number has been since it started to fly.

What’s amazing is that data that used to be a mystery is becoming more available. Sure, video feeds for cities and highways have been available for some time, but long term access to them? What able machine vision processing on them to tag events and extract data? What’s the change in popularity of red cars on the 401 from 2010 to 2015? Do red cars get pulled over more? How many people fight their parking tickets and win?

Arbitrage over data will have shrinking returns. More will come from those using that new found data to extract meaning.

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