Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Tracking George the Traveler
Internet, Life, Money
Ever wonder where that dollar bill in your hand has been, or where it will be going once you spend it? We may not realize it, but the currency we use in this country is well traveled. Cash makes it's way around the states in quick fashion.
Well, if you happen to get a bill with the stamp on it shown here, you can find out where that bill has been and track where it is going. The people at Where's George have placed these stamps on bills and encourage people who receive one of these bills to enter the location of the bill when they get it. What results is a history of where each bill has been.
While this is fascinating on its own, Wired Magazine is now reporting that researchers are using this data to predict the spread of disease based on the theory that money probably travels in the same patterns as disease carrying humans. This has been a concern most recently with the fear of avian flu. If you consider that nearly 25% of the bills tracked during a one week period traveled 30-500 miles, it certainly makes you worry.