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Durham transportation study using location data people may not know they leave behind

A Durham transportation study is using location data harvested from smartphones and navigation devices.

Many owners of those devices are likely unaware that their movements create such data or that it is collected and sold to help a city eager to unclog its downtown.

Move Durham, funded with $400,000 in multiple grants, is contracting with StreetLight Data of California to buy data originating with GPS systems and potentially hundreds of smartphone apps, including weather, dating and exercise software.

Reporter Cameron Beach explores the advantages and some reservations about a data source that people moving around town may unknowingly help produce.