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Urban Mobility: How We Move Through Cities

July 13, 2014

The aggregate of information collected by the app Human, designed to promote wellness and exercise, has been transformed into visualizations that provide an interesting look at how we move through cities.

So what does 7.5 million miles of tracked activity look like? It’s pretty cool. See all city data here.

Starting with my home city of Boston, it’s not that surprising to see that we’re above average in walking as compared to the international average; it’s a very walkable city, including most of Cambridge (which consistently ranks high in walkability studies).


The map looks pretty similar to an aerial, highlighting Boston proper, beacon hill, the back bay and areas along the river as some of the most heavily used by pedestrians (also, runners and cyclists).

Other cities, like the notoriously car-centric Los Angeles, look entirely different when looking at the maps generated from walking data vs. car.



The maps also provide a quick look at the organization of each city, from the cities organized on a grid to those that seem to radiate out from a city center (compare NYC’s biking patterns and Paris).



Perhaps one of my favorite parts of the visualization, is watching the travel patterns by time of day.


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