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How the Chicago Marathon Will Keep Track of 1.7 Million People

As more than 40,000 runners prepare this year to toe the line at the Chicago Marathon on October 9, Northwestern University engineering professor Karen Smilowitz and her team of students are set to monitor the event with a data-visualization system that will display a detailed breakdown of the race as it unfolds. The system compiles all kinds of information on the marathon—the course map, runner density, location of lead runners, current temperature, capacity of medical tents—on a computer dashboard and displays it on a large-screen TV in the event’s central command center.
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