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learning, conceptualizing + communicating data with infographics, visualizations, etc...
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Using Big Data to Design Smarter Cities

Using Big Data to Design Smarter Cities | visual data | Scoop.it
Architects and Planners across the country are harnessing the potential of Big Data to build information-laden city-scale models. By gathering and synthesizing such factors as traffic, energy usage, water flows, and air quality, the urban design field is hoping to layout smarter, more efficient, and more resilient forms of development.
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Hilary McEwan's curator insight, February 17, 7:17 AM

Having already made a huge difference to the landscape of the financial, public health and manufacturing sectors, it looks like we can expect Big Data to keep on trucking, so to speak, and right in to the major infrastructure decisions that drive our city planning.


But does it make sense to plan a city on digital footprints instead of real-time foot fall and the day to day needs of the population? Each of us behaves very differently online to how we live offline, so can turning that data into a streetplan really change the way we live for the better?

Juanma Holgado's curator insight, February 21, 4:57 AM

Big Data i arquitectura, la construccio inteligent de la ciutat cercant eficiencia i sostenibilitat

Norm Miller's curator insight, February 23, 11:23 PM

This is like BMS but for cities.   It makes sense.  

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Columbia University and the Van Alen Institute Map How Our Brains Navigate the City

Columbia University and the Van Alen Institute Map How Our Brains Navigate the City | visual data | Scoop.it
The GSAPP’s Cloud Lab teams up with neurologists and the design institute to track how urban environments can make people relaxed or tense.

This spring, the Cloud Lab at Columbia University and the Van Alen Institute tackled the challenge of assessing and mapping how people respond to their environment as a part of Van Alen’s Elsewhere series on wellness in the city.

Instead of the typical focus groups, however, the researchers tracked brainwaves to gauge the mental activities of nearly 100 volunteers; using electroencephalography-based (EEG) measurements and the GPS tracking app, the research team collected more than 1 gigabyte of data over 200 walking sessions that, in theory, create a snapshot of a day-in-the-life of the neighborhood’s mental states. 

Presenting the data in a manner that retained its spatial qualities required the researchers to develop their own software for visualization. At a public follow-up presentation in May, the team presented the simplified data on a 3D map of DUMBO. Areas in cyan indicate places in which participants were in a more meditative and relaxed state, while areas in red indicate places where participants had a more focused or heightened sense of awareness...

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Bhopkins's curator insight, August 22, 2014 10:53 AM

"Architects and planners could employ the technology during post-occupancy walkthroughs or preliminary design presentations."

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Beautiful Interactive Map of Barcelona Digs Into Rich Architectural History

Beautiful Interactive Map of Barcelona Digs Into Rich Architectural History | visual data | Scoop.it

Barcelona is one of Europe's most vibrant cities. Tourists flock here for the superb restaurants, lively nightlife, and a chance to check out the stunningly creative architecture of Antoni Gaudí. But the city's historical and cultural roots run deep, and a new interactive map aims to make it easier for visitors and locals alike to explore the city's landmarks.


Created by the design firm 300,000 Km/s, the map includes 3,000 notable places, from Roman walls to modern street art. It also includes data on building ages for more than 70,000 properties. All this information was already available, at least in theory, from Barcelona’s city council and the national database of cadastral data.

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Emeric Nectoux's curator insight, May 2, 2014 3:11 AM

Stunning example of interactive city map showing how constructions from different ages are mixed together. 


Interactive map

Odyseey Students's curator insight, December 2, 2014 8:55 AM

Diverse architecture in this beautiful city!

(Will Cancilla)

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If The Planet Really Did Revolve Around Your City: Isidro Blasco's 3D Urban Panoramas

If The Planet Really Did Revolve Around Your City: Isidro Blasco's 3D Urban Panoramas | visual data | Scoop.it
When you’re in a big city humming with activity, it’s not unusual to feel like the world revolves around you. On each trip to a new place, artist Isidro Blasco climbs up to the tallest buildings and documents what exactly “the world” looks like through the city’s eyes.

The result: the “Planet” series, which takes us to the bubbles of places like New York, São Paulo, Sydney, and Madrid.

The artist assembles photographs into meticulously circular panoramas. Reminding us that Photoshop techniques have origins in the physical world, each series is painstakingly incised and trimmed by hand. The three-dimensional works challenge perceptions of our everyday "orbits" through their creative use of representation.


More at the link.

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jewell Moss's curator insight, March 2, 2014 1:31 PM

What do you see through your city?

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50 Maps Showing Where and What Happens in Cities Across the Globe

50 Maps Showing Where and What Happens in Cities Across the Globe | visual data | Scoop.it

“Where people post geotagged photos to Flickr from and geotagged tweets to Twitter from.” via Eric Fischer

Red dots are locations of Flickr pictures. Blue dots are locations of Twitter tweets. White dots are locations that have been posted to both. 

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Patrice Mitrano's curator insight, February 4, 2014 8:51 AM

voir aussi la page Flickr d'Eric Fischer, l'auteur de ces images spectaculaires : http://www.flickr.com/photos/walkingsf/

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Grand Plans: How The Simple Planning Diagram Has Shaped Our Cities

Grand Plans: How The Simple Planning Diagram Has Shaped Our Cities | visual data | Scoop.it

A new exhibition charts how powerful abstract drawings – from Le Corbusier's radiant city to the US township grid – have defined the nature of urban development.


An exhibition opened this month in San Francisco that charts the visual history and influence of the planning diagram, from the radial spokes of the garden city wheel to the New York set-back rule.

Grand Reductions: 10 Diagrams That Changed City Planning argues that these simple, abstract illustrations are "iconic distillations of values, policy agendas and ideologies".

"Planning indulges in the same world of image making that artists and advertisers do," writes Andrew Shanken, professor of architecture and urbanism at UC Berkeley. "Every plan is an act of persuasion, an argument for an alternative way of life that attempts to posit or convince an audience of that alternative."


VIsit the link for a look at five diagrams that have had a lasting impact on the way cities and countrysides are shaped.

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Maps of unrealized city plans reveal what might have been

Maps of unrealized city plans reveal what might have been | visual data | Scoop.it

Maps can direct us from here to there, show where one thing is in relation to another, or add layers information to our surroundings. Whatever its form, a map’s main purpose is to make the complex world we live in more comprehensible.

But there are also maps that describe the world as it never came to be.

Those are the maps that interest Andrew Lynch, who runs a Tumblr called Hyperreal Cartography & The Unrealized City that's full of city maps collected from libraries, municipal archives, and dark corners of the internet.

Lynch recently shared a few of his favorite “dream cities” with WIRED’s MapLab...


Via Luca Baptista
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The Visual Signature of Your City

The Visual Signature of Your City | visual data | Scoop.it

Social-media platforms like FourSquare and Twitter have been a boon for sociologists and geographers who now have entirely new ways of tracking how we move through cities, where we go, who we are, and even what we think of the world around us. There is one set of social-media platforms, however, that has been tougher to crack for useful data than others: photo-sharing sites.


Their metadata can illustrate where people take photos, and how active they are. But on the whole, how do you aggregate useful data about entire cities and the differences between them from the content of millions of photos on a site like Instagram?

Researchers have been working on this for the past year, and they've just posted some of the initial results from their Phototrails project here.The project is less an exploration of a specific research question, and more a first foray into what we might learn by treating user-generated photography as another source of Big Data.

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Inside Arcology, the City of the Future (Infographic)

Inside Arcology, the City of the Future (Infographic) | visual data | Scoop.it

For over a century, writers and architects have imagined the cities of the future.

In the late 1960s, architect Paolo Soleri envisioned “arcology” - a word that combines “architecture” and “ecology," with a goal of building structures to house large populations in self-contained environments with a self-sustaining economy and agriculture.
 
“In the three-dimensional city, man defines a human ecology. In it he is a country dweller and metropolitan man in one. By it the inner and the outer are at ‘skin’ distance. He has made the city in his own image. Arcology: the city in the image of man.” (Paolo Soleri)
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luiy's curator insight, July 8, 2013 7:42 AM
For over a century, writers and architects have imagined the cities of the future as giant structures that contain entire metropolises. To some, these buildings present the best means for cities to exist in harmony with nature, while others forsee grotesque monstrosities destructive to the human spirit. In the mid-20th century, engineer and futurist R. Buckminster Fuller imagined city-enclosing plastic domes and enormous housing projects resembling nuclear cooling towers. These ideas are impractical but they explore the limits of conventional architectural thinking.  Science fiction writers and artists often imagine future architecture that oppresses the human spirit. Megastructures such as the pyramid-like Tyrell Buildings of “Blade Runner” dominate a decrepit skyline. The decaying old city is simply covered with layers of newer, larger buildings in a process of “retrofitting.” Beginning in the late 1960s, architect Paolo Soleri envisioned a more humane approach. The word “arcology” is a combination of “architecture” and “ecology.” The goal is to build megastructures that would house a population of a million or more people, but in a self-contained environment with its own economy and agriculture. “In the three-dimensional city, man defines a human ecology. In it he is a country dweller and metropolitan man in one. By it the inner and the outer are at ‘skin’ distance. He has made the city in his own image. Arcology: the city in the image of man.” (Paolo Soleri) In 1996, a group of 75 Japanese corporations commissioned Soleri to design the one-kilometer-tall Hyper Bulding, a vertical city for 100,000 people. Existing in harmony with nature, the Hyper Building was designed to recycle waste, produce food in greenhouses, and use the sun’s light and heat for power and climate control.  The structure was designed for passive heating and cooling without the need for machinery. An economic recession put the brakes on the project and it was never built. Soleri’s arcology concept is being put to the test in the Arcosanti experimental community being built in Arizona. Construction began in 1970. When complete the town will house 5,000 people. Buildings are composed of locally produced concrete and are designed to capture sunlight and heat. To be built in the desert near Abu Dhabi, Masdar is a 2.3-square-mile (6 sq km) planned city of 40,000 residents. Buildings are designed to reduce reliance on artificial lighting and air conditioning, and the city will run entirely on solar power and renewable energy. Begun in 2006, the project is planned for completion around 2020-2025.
Fàtima Galan's curator insight, July 9, 2013 5:44 AM

Amazing and beautiful analysis!! Believe it or not, the science fiction also has something to teach us about the city of tomorrow.

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Exquisite Paper Sculptures Map Historic Events

Exquisite Paper Sculptures Map Historic Events | visual data | Scoop.it

It’s easy to admire Matthew Picton’s paper sculpted maps simply for their fine craftsmanship and close resemblance to the famous cities they represent – but you’d be missing so much hidden in the details. 


Beyond the exquisitely folded ribbons of paper forming the delicate maps are tales from each city’s storied past: floods, fires, wars. Each element has been carefully researched and woven into the final sculpture, from the paper used to create it, to the destruction Picton often revisits on the cities.

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Are Our Transit Maps Tricking Us?

Are Our Transit Maps Tricking Us? | visual data | Scoop.it
Subway maps distort the reality on the ground for all kinds of reasons. What happens when we make decisions based on them?

London’s city center takes up about two percent of the city. On the Tube map, it looks four times as big.

Over in New York City, Central Park—which is a skinny sliver, much longer than it is wide—was depicted in some 1960s and ‘70s IRT maps as a fat rectangle on its side.

So public transit maps are distorted, quite on purpose. All of them enlarge city centers. Many use a fixed distance between stations out in the boonies, even if, in reality, they’re spaced wildly differently. Curvy lines are made straight. Transfers are coded with dots, lines, and everything in between.

According to Zhan Guo, an assistant professor of urban planning and transportation policy at NYU Wagner, certain cities allow for more flight of fancy than others. San Francisco and New York have a lot of geographic markers, so passengers will only accept so much map distortion.

New York’s grid system further discourages excessive futzing. In Chicago, the line is elevated, which leaves even less leeway. But in a place like London, with twisty streets, few geographical markers other than the Thames, and an underground system, you can pull a lot more over on people...

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What Transit Maps Reveal About Cities

What Transit Maps Reveal About Cities | visual data | Scoop.it
For a snapshot of a city, you might opt for a postcard. But for a graphical element that speaks to the individuality of a locale, transit maps are prime for studying.

Some iconic, others unheralded, transit maps offer users a fingertip guide through seeming chaos, arranging the city while holding true to its particularities. Whether using a geographical framework (like New York) or a schematic design (known as a diagram, which is used most frequently), cities often swirl those ideas together, bending train lines and inserting key landmarks to tell a cultural story and serve as a wayfinding tool...

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The Human Scale of Big Data

The Human Scale of Big Data | visual data | Scoop.it

The 2011 Strata Conference in New York City kicked off on Thursday with a brief introduction by O'Reilly's own Ed Dumbill. He ventures a bold assessment of the present social condition and how data science plays into it: the growth of our networks, government, and information feel as if they are slipping out of our control, evolving like a living organism. Despite this, Dumbill is optimistic, placing the hope to navigate this new "synthetic world" on the emerging role of the data scientist.

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New York's 2018 Skyline Revealed in New Visualizations

New York's 2018 Skyline Revealed in New Visualizations | visual data | Scoop.it

These new renderings show what New York's skyline will look like in 2018, when many of the city's new tall skyscrapers will be complete.

The images were created by visualisation studio CityRealty to show how Jean Nouvel's proposed 320-metre skyscraper at 53 West 53rd Street – now under construction – will sit amongst the numerous other towers underway along the south-west of Central Park. The images also show 432 Park Avenue by Rafael Viñoly, which will soon become New York's tallest residential tower, as well as Fosters' new tower for 610 Lexington Avenuethe recently completed One World Trade Center by SOM and the first of the 16 towers proposed at Hudsons Yards.

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Google adds London to its growing list of 3D-mapped cities

Google adds London to its growing list of 3D-mapped cities | visual data | Scoop.it

Google Maps has now added London to an impressive roster of 3D-mapped cities that also includes Paris, Rome, New York and Los Angeles. By piecing together 45-degree aerial imagery, the Google mapping team has been able to recreate entire cities.

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The ever changing story of London's skyline

The ever changing story of London's skyline | visual data | Scoop.it

More than 230 tall buildings of over 20 storeys are currently proposed, approved or under construction in London, according to an independent survey which also claims that 80% of the planned towers will be for residential use.

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Classic Paintings of London On Top of Google Street Views of the City

Classic Paintings of London On Top of Google Street Views of the City | visual data | Scoop.it

If you walk the streets of London often enough, it’s easy to forget the massive amount of history that surrounds you. But, just looking up can send your head spinning into the past again. From the giant dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral, to the towers of Westminster Abby and the quiet banks of the Thames in Greenwich, almost every view of the old city is filled with stories from the past. Redditor shystone recently when on an internet odyssey using classic paintings from the city’s history and matching them up with modern day views from Google Street View.

Each example here is filled with fascinating details and obvious comparisons in life separated by centuries… even if the buildings remain the same.

More images and information at the link.

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Vizualizing A Century of Urban Development in Manhattan

Vizualizing A Century of Urban Development in  Manhattan | visual data | Scoop.it

This unusual view of downtown New York growing buildings from 1840 to 2020 (the animation includes projects under development) is the work of the aptly named Cube Cities, an urban-visualization service. The company creates computer-generated skylines for major cities based on property listings and Google Earth data, with similar videos for Chicago, San Francisco, Toronto, and elsewhere.

Cube Cities finished the Lower Manhattan project earlier this month. If you've got your browser plugins in order you can explore the air space around the ersatz city in three dimensions, like a seagull swooping through vividly colored canyons.


But the animation is cool enough as is: Watch as urban development sends structures leaping into the sky in the first couple decades of the 20th century, grind to a halt until the 50s, then go bonkers all the way to the new millennium.

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The Urban Observatory: A New Way To Compare Cities, From The Creator Of TED

The Urban Observatory: A New Way To Compare Cities, From The Creator Of TED | visual data | Scoop.it
This giant installation and a website you can play with at home lets you compare the worlds urban centers side by side.

We live in a world of easily accessible maps; however, our map knowledge is limited by the fact that no two cities collect data the same way. Maps often aren’t drawn to the same scale, and until now, there hasn’t been a way to compare data on things like income, cost of living, water distribution, and power grids.

It’s a problem that has bugged Richard Saul Wurman, the creator of the TED conference (as well as an architect and graphic designer), for decades.

Wurman recently teamed up with Jon Kamen of Radical Media and Esri president Jack Dangermond to create an ambitious solution: the Urban Observatory, an immersive exhibit featuring standardized comparative data on over 16 cities. Zoom in on one city map and other cities will simultaneously zoom in at the same scale, making it possible to compare data on traffic density, vegetation, residential land use, and so on.


Find more details and information at the article link...

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Subway Maps Of Cities Around The World Redesigned In A Circular Format

Subway Maps Of Cities Around The World Redesigned In A Circular Format | visual data | Scoop.it

Mapmaker Max Roberts has created a new way to map out subway lines.  Conventional maps usually emphasize “straight lines, clean angles and geographical accuracy”. Unlike those maps, Roberts’ circular design is a blend of “aesthetics and usability”. 

Roberts discovered this “completely new way of designing maps” when he was designing a map for the London Underground that took into account the circular nature of the Orbital rail link. He realized the potential of the new design in forcing “cities into an unprecedented level of organization” and the coherence achieved. Sacrificing geographical accuracy, his schematic design shows how elements in the map relate to each other logically, while taming the web of criss-crossed lines usually found in subway maps.

View maps of the New York City Subway, the London Underground and the Paris Metro at the article link, or head over to hiswebsite to see more circular maps of other cities. 

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Niki Brown Beck's curator insight, December 5, 2014 9:44 PM

New perspective (transportation)

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Watch Iconic Skylines Emerge Before Your Eyes

Watch Iconic Skylines Emerge Before Your Eyes | visual data | Scoop.it

Corporate real estate data offers unexpectedly riveting views into the past.


Calgary-based real estate company Cube Cities has put together a series of 3-D animations that offer a mesmerizing look at the development of the modern cityscapes of New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Calgary, and Toronto. The videos overlay developer-reported data on construction dates on 3-D mapping technology from Google Earth.

Cube Cities is a new company focused on combining commercial real estate listings with Google Earth visualizations, in an effort to provide customers with a better idea of how prospective office space fits into a city's landscape. After signing up, you can zoom around and get a sense of, say, the views overlooking the Chicago River from the 40th floor of a specific skyscraper.

Developers used the video project to play around with representation models, so each of the videos use slightly different methods to indicate new buildings. In a particularly cool effect, the San Francisco animation begins with clear outlines of the current skyline, and viewers watch as the phantom city turns solid as time moves forward.

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Francois Brosseau's curator insight, August 13, 2014 4:42 PM

Demand for office space by corporate tenants and businesses have fueled the growth of cities and their changing skylines.  We can indeed give credit to visionary developers taking on the development risk, but at the very root of development is demand which arises from the success of corporate and business tenants.

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NYC's Innovative New Map System Won't Leave You Lost

NYC's Innovative New Map System Won't Leave You Lost | visual data | Scoop.it

Even for the most direction-savvy New Yorker, emerging from the dark pit of the subway can be a disorienting experience. New York City streets are bright, they’re loud, oftentimes they’re smelly, and worst of all, maps are virtually non-existent. Or at least that used to be the case.


Just this week, the Department of Transportation unveiled its WalkNYC initiative, a program that will bring comprehensive pedestrian maps to all five boroughs. In a city where an estimated 30 percent of all trips are made by foot and one out of every three locals can’t tell north from south, they’re probably going to come in handy.


Though NYC’s public transportation is top-notch and we are technically on a grid, it’s easy to get lost or overwhelmed when traveling by foot. That’s why the DOT enlisted the help of PentaCityGroup, a consortium of urban planners, engineers, designers, cartographers and geographical information specialists, to solve the problem.

Their goal? To create an information-packed map that would orient pedestrians and help them find the gems each NYC neighborhood has to offer. The first of these new information kiosks was installed earlier this week in Chinatown (they’re already located at every Citi Bike station), and it’s expected that others will be popping up in midtown Manhattan, Long Island City in Queens and Prospect Heights in Brooklyn this summer

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luiy's curator insight, July 3, 2013 8:49 AM

If the style of these maps looks familiar, that’s because it is. The design team wanted to marry the current design to the graphic language that was was established for the subway system in the late 1960s. The typeface is still Helvetica (albeit with a slight twist–the type’s square dots are now round) and it uses the same organizational conventions (white type on a dark background). “All of this was deliberately echoing the way the subways look,” Bierut explains. “We wanted people to be able to ride the subway, come out and orient themselves.” Bierut says the design of the maps is meant to be accurate, trustworthy and friendly. But not too friendly—this is New York City, after all. “We wanted these things to be beautiful in a way, but also characteristic of the best of New York.”

ParadigmGallery's comment, July 8, 2013 4:02 PM
great...can't wait to try these...
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Articulating the New York City Grid

Articulating the New York City Grid | visual data | Scoop.it

It is no great revelation that architects tend to look up when exploring a city. It’s the best way to guage size, scale, placement, composition and detail – all the information required to process the qualities of a space or place.


Having spent the last few days looking up and considering the architectural impact of the New York City grid-plan layout, this article takes a particular interest in the domestic scale elements that help to service the city and punctuate the rigidity.

At first the brain identifies the rhythm of the brick formation and the window layouts, it is this assumption of regularity that leaves many with this very valid conclusion based on the verticality of the grid. But in identifying this pattern – the eye becomes more accustomed, searching for further geometries or perhaps more importantly, exceptions to the rule.


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Editorial: Visualisation Tools for Understanding Big Data

Editorial: Visualisation Tools for Understanding Big Data | visual data | Scoop.it

I recently co-wrote an editorial (download the full version here) with Mike Batty (UCL CASA) in which we explored some of the current issues surrounding the visualisation of large urban datasets. We were inspired to write it following the CASA Smart Cities conference and we included a couple of visualisations I have blogged here. Much of the day was devoted to demonstrating the potential of data visualisation to help us better understand our cities. Such visualisations would not have been possible a few years ago using desktop computers their production has ballooned as a result of recent technological (and in the case of OpenData, political) advances...

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Sense of Patterns: Visualizing Mobility Data

Sense of Patterns: Visualizing Mobility Data | visual data | Scoop.it

Sense of Patterns is an on-going project, a series of printed data visualizations aiming to depict the behaviors of masses in different public spaces.

The visualizations focus on the patterns of moving entities like commuters, cars and public transportation vehicles, as well as the interaction between such entities and physical structures like roads, sidewalks, buildings and parks. The project intends to provide strong visuals on experiences in our daily lives in different cities.

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