Thursday, 14 May 2009

Routine Part 01 - Mental Maps of Daily Commuting

As a second phase of the UrbanDiary project, the data collection focuses on the participants perception of their routine and activity. During semi structured interviews detailed information to accompany and extend the data collected via the GPS device. The selected topics for the interview are personal information such as work status and family status, routine, schedule, spatial knowledge, contextual knowledge, transport, memory of routes and GPS device usage. During the interview the participants are also asked to write down information about their daily, weekly and yearly schedule and also to draw a mental map of their travel from home to work and back.
Some preliminary observations from on e of the first sketches drawn by a UD participant, looking at mode of transport, sequence of noting down descriptive elements and a comparison to the GPS record of the route.

Mental Map analysis by UrbanTick for UrbanDiary

Of course also the way participants’ use the space given to work on is already very interesting and in this case only the very top of the sheet was used. Participants are asked to comment on what they draw and the transcript of this helps to interpret the drawing, for example regarding the sequence or comments they have made about their feelings in connection with a certain element.
The first two analysis diagrams look at relationship of mode of transports (top) and sequence of map creation (bottom), both based on the participants meal map. What looks like another of the GPS records is more of a dot-to-dot doodle.
Mode of transport in this example is bus journeys and walking. Comparing this to the GPS record (left) it is clearly visible that the length of the bus journey is different. In the mental map the walked part is in much more detail represented than the bus journey.

This is only to give a quick update on the UD project. The amount of data that these interviews provide for the project will keep me busy for a while. The next update will be on a comparison of schedules.

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