We routinely see visualizations of air or auto traffic, but the lowly bicycle remains off the grid. So, from the perspective of the data itself, a visualization of bike movement is already getting interesting. What’s nice about this project by Kitchen Budapest and UrbanCyclr, though, is that the visualization itself is unexpected. So many data visualizations fall into the same patterns that you may, as I did, have an immediate preconception of what this project would look like. Instead, the map of the city itself bubbles and bulges. Whether this is more effective is up for debate, but it’s a reminder of just how many choices you have in visualizing numbers, rendering the invisible.

This project also reflects the shift from big data stores to ground-up collection of significant numbers – here, some 100,000 kilometers of routes. As data becomes mobile and grassroots, that makes an Internet of data even more realistic and widely-accessible. And I still imagine someday people VJing with data in performances and clubs.

Full description and links:

Kitchen Budapest and UrbanCyclr teamed up to untangle the invisible pattern of bike traffic in Budapest. 100.000 kilometers of biking routes collected from individual bikers are overlaid on the city map. All distortions of the map reflect higher biking activity in the respective area of the city. 24h map animation reveals the daily biking patterns of a growing community of urban bikers in Budpest.
UrbanCyclr app allows bikers to track their biking routes in the city. The individual routes are added to an aggregated map of the bikers’ community. 100.000 kilometers of biking routes have been collected from individual bikers since the launch of the app in 2011.
SubMap (submap.kibu.hu) is a unique tool to visualize geographic and time-based data on distorted maps. It has a huge potential in coping with data from a physically distributed network of independent sensors.
Kitchen Budapest | Bujdosó Attila, Feles Dániel, Gergely Krisztián, Kiss László
UrbanCyclr | Füredi Gábor, Megyer László, Véhmann Ferenc
Music | Kiss László