Till Nagel

Urbane Ebenen, summer 2012

by Till Nagel.

In this course we investigated how interactive geovisualizations can help citizens to explore and understand their urban environment.
This course was in loose cooperation with the MIT Senseable City Labs.

Taught at the FH Potsdam.
Interfacedesign, 2.135 Advanced Media, Summer 2012
Course blog, Syllabus, Schedule (all in German)

Here are the students’ projects. Be sure to check them out via the links on the left!

BVG – The RealTime

By Ekkehard Petzold and Simon Staib

An expert tool for visually compare real-time versus scheduled departure data provided by the Berlin transportation authority BVG. The working prototype for an iPad allows analyzing punctuality in public transport.

For each stop on a line a donut chart displays how many vehicles have been too early, punctual, or with a delay in the currently selected time frame. By tapping on one of the stops the glyph gets enlarged and shows detailed data as radial bar chart. Users can also animate through the day, and dynamically change the time range to update the temporal data aggregation.

Interesting, personally motivated problem. Definitely visit the project site and read the students’ motivation, as well as their description of the challenge to match the real-time data with the timetable data, as there can be various irregularities e.g. due one vehicle overtaking another, or cancellations of single vehicles, etc.


By Markus Kerschkewicz,
Baptiste Stecher and Norman Patenge

An interactive multitouch visualization of air traffic in Europe. Gathers data from flightradar24.com and displays flight traces over time.

This project was implemented for a wall display with multitouch cappabilities, and supports simple well-established finger gestures. Users can pinch and drag to zoom and pan to areas of interest, or tap on countries or airports to filter flights accordingly. Thanks to the time range slider users can select and observe different temporal patterns, be it by day, by hour, or in real-time.

The rather straight-forward visualization makes it easy to recognize emerging geo-spatial patterns, such as main flight corridors, flight paths around airports, or restricted airspace regions.

Flaneur App

By Philipp Meyer, Sebastian
Sadowski and Christopher Pietsch

A playful approach to explore your immediate urban environment. Flaneur is a mobile app which lets you find interesting places while strolling around. By “throwing” your smart phone towards one direction the app offers you one single place, in a distance depending on the strength of your throw.

The visual design reinforces the fishing rod metaphor: A small fisherman is shown who “fishes in muddy waters” – he might find something great, he might find something boring. The background map uses Stamen’s water color style.

The working prototype for an iPhone allows experiencing this novel interaction technique.

Potsdam – The social city

By Daniel Grimm, Ulrike
Thierbach and Luise Bergmann

Visualizations of socio-demographic data in Potsdam in the last decades. Visualizes various data sets as choropleth map. Users can switch to a dynamic small multiples view of city districts.

This project was conceived as a combination of infographic posters and a multitouch application, and was publicly exhibited in the Hans-Otto-Theater, Potsdam.

Airflow App

Interactive App to visualize air quality in Berlin. Uses data from a public environmental institution.

Includes some nice implementations on interactive filtering and dynamic details-on-demand. Interesting approach of dynamically aggregating data based on user’s point of interest. Watch the video prototype above.

Bahn leer?

An app showing whether the next train will be crowded. Uses skeuomorphic design and simple swipe interactions to appeal to a large audience of public transport passengers.

Includes an interesting conceptual method to collect crowd-sourced fullness data. Check out the prototype for smartphones (showing fake data) at http://dennykoch.de/s-bahn/.

Experiments for visualizing fullness of vehicles.

No comments on ‘Urbane Ebenen, summer 2012’

Leave a Reply