Monday, 21 December 2009

Tracking the Void in Amsterdam

A tracking project based in amsterdam has produced a really nice visualisation of the GPS log data. A couple of people tracking themselves on their daily commutes presumably with a igotU GPS device.
The visualisation is done in processing.
It is amazing how quickly the structure of Amsterdam becomes visible. Compared to the London UrbanDiary map here in Amsterdam a much clearer urban structure shows. This is probably down to a number of factors, for example the urban morphology is fundamentally different between Amsterdam and London and the mode of transport is probably similarly different. A lot more bicycle transport, which makes for a more divers picture, than by using public transport or even traveling underground with the tube.
But because of this is makes for a really nice visual comparison between the two.

Tracks in the void from Steven M. Ottens on Vimeo.


Anonymous said...

That's beautiful. Why isn't anybody using smartphones?
Everyone has a GPS device in their pocket. Do it with a high level of detail and in 3-D and you could produce a detailed picture of the terrain and built environment. Create a Smartphone generated version of Google Maps. Indiscriminate, multi-modal mapping. You could even use it for urban planning---locate gridlock by high concentrations of those little dots. Find shortcuts people use and formalize them. Thoreau did something like this in Walden. He maintained trails and bridges where the public heel attested to their utility. Use the phone generated terrain to inform the cityscape on Google Earth.

fan said...

Thanks for the comment, those are great suggestions. A number of projects are under way along the line you are suggesting, some documented on this blog. However non is yet as slick as you suggest. We'll get there at some point. One of the problems that kept me from using mobile phones for the urbanDiary project was simply the battery life of the mobile phones. You still can't track yourself for a whole day one one charge. But it will improve.

fan said...

Is this the Thoreau in Walden you mentioned? Haven't heard of it before.