Till Nagel

Urbane Ebenen, winter 2013

by Till Nagel.

In this course we collected and visualized urban mobility data to reveal movement patterns and trends in cities.

Taught at the FH Potsdam.
Interfacedesign, 2.135 Advanced Media, Winter 2013/2014
Course blog, Syllabus, Schedule (all in German).

This course was in loose cooperation with HERE, a Nokia business.
Guest lecture by Benjamin Wiederkehr.
Here are the students’ projects. Be sure to check them out via the links on the left!


By Flavio Gortana, Sebastian Kaim
and Martin von Lupin
Online tool

A web-based tool to display time-varying mobility data in a unified visualization with the help of layered isochrone maps. In contrast to conventional isochrone maps, this visualization allows comparing how travel patterns change over time, and how spatio-temporal variations affect urban mobility.

First, the user zooms and pans to an area of interest, and clicks on a specific location. Multiple isochrone shapes are displayed based on travel time and other parameters. When scrubbing over the timeline the selected hour is highlighted (Fig. Walk-through: a and b). Switching between days (e.g. weekdays vs weekend) allows comparing the different scopes for rush hours on work days and corresponding times on days with less traffic density. Selecting additional locations on the map lets users compare multiple places side by side (Fig. c).

Walk-through: Comparing early morning (a) and the evening rush hour (b) in central London, and different areas with each other (c).

Read more about the design process and visual experiments in the documentation, and be sure to try out the interactive tool and explore your own city!

Featured in The Atlantic Cities, Fast Company, and FlowingData among others.

Accepted as Poster at IEEE Vis 2014. See my publications, or the side bar for more information.

Cab Rides – Visualizing taxi trips

By Jakob Flemming, Jordi Tost,
Julian Braun and Lars Kreuzmann

This interactive visualization shows patterns and trends of passengers riding cabs in Berlin. Users can explore what routes emerge as main arteries, which areas most taxi rides are in, or how taxi activity does not die down that much at weekend nights.

To get information about taxi rides in Berlin, we scraped the data of available taxis from a taxi service website. When a taxi disappeared from the website’s map and re-appeared later again we assumed this to be a ride. Then, we used a routing service to calculate the ideal travel path, which – of course – is not necessarily the actual path. (One limitation of this scraping approach is that it allowed us to only track the location of a taxi when it was booked, not when the passenger was picked up.)

In the interactive tool people can select areas of interest to filter cab rides, and only show the ones starting or ending in that area. All rides to that area are displayed in green, while all rides from that area are displayed in red. As an example, compare night and morning for cab rides to and from Berlin Tegel Airport (TXL).

Rides to and from Berlin airport at different times.

See how in the evening (left) more people take a cab from the airport to other destinations, and in the morning (right) more people go from the city to the airport. This fits the flight schedule of TXL, as it has a night flight ban from 11:30pm to 6am.

Early concept showing cab rides between music venues.

The graduated symbols on the map show concert locations with their size signifying importance. One of the stories the students investigated was if there are more cab rides between the venues of Club Transmediale, a music festival in Berlin. See their project page for some visualization of these days.

3 comments on ‘Urbane Ebenen, winter 2013’

  1. Malcolm says:

    Any possibility you will put the isoscope on github or something similar? Also adding a 30 min and 60 min drive time would be really cool as well. For rural areas 10 min is nothing.

    Awesome map.


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