Friday, April 20, 2018

Revealing Paris Through Velib Data

A very interesting project by Fabien Girardin from the Interactive Technologies Group at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona

Velib is a community bicycle rental service in Paris (similar to the Vélo’v service in Lyon and Bicing in Barcelona). The stations deployed in the city offer bikes people can use for their small and medium daily routes within the city.
[…] As follow-up to the work on Bicing in Barcelona, Mathieu Arnold granted us access to  the infrastructure status (i.e. number of available bikes for each station) over several weeks. The resulting animation shows the spatio-temporal state of the system and the mobility patterns of its users. One intention behind these visualisation is to explore how accumulated data can help people to grasp the availability and quality of the system over space and time (e.g. do not expect to encounter available bikes the different neighborhoods at certain hours). In addition we aim at revealing Paris, the life of its different neighborhoods, specific areas, their topologies and dynamics through its bike system.

The animation of these spatio-temporal data reveals the “pulse” of the Velib’ system over a full day (February 10, 2008) based on the number of bikes available at each station.

I find Fabien’s work a good example of “making sense of space” in action. It makes me think of Lynch’s notion of “imageability”. Also of Dan Hill’s ideas on urban computing and services and Kazys Varnelis’ recent article on “The invisible city” highlighting the increasing reliance on maps to understand our new reality and the opportunities for designers in developing this new language.



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A research blog about interaction, design research, urban informatics, ambient computing, visualisation, emerging technologes and their impact on the built environment.

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This is a blog by Gonzalo Garcia-Perate a PhD researcher at The Bartlett, looking at adaptive ambient information in urban spaces.

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