Isoscope Mapping the time-varying extent of urban mobility

As we think about traffic in cities as somewhat like the pulse of the city, Isoscope is an approach to capture this rhythm with its up and downs. It’s an interactive tool that creates aesthetic visuals about locations that are reachable by car in a chosen time from a chosen location.

People
  • Flavio Gortana
  • Sebastian Kaim
  • Martin von Lupin
  • Till Nagel

Year
2014 – now

Website
Pattern of New York City · Thursday · 8 Minutes
Pattern of New York City · Thursday · 8 Minutes

The boundaries of the reachability is shown by 24 layered organic shapes, while one layer represents one hour of the day. The output reveals many information like the traffic infrastructure, connectivity of regions and natural boundaries. Since the location to choose is not exclusive, places all over the world can be explored and compared.

Pattern of Potsdam · Wednesday · 6 Minutes
Pattern of Potsdam · Wednesday · 6 Minutes

We drive to the closest supermarket, take the bike to the gym or walk to the cafe next door for a nice chat among friends. Getting around — thus mobility — is an essential part of our being. We were especially intrigued by those situations when our mobility is compromised such as in traffic jams or during tough driving conditions. How do those restrictions impact our journeys through the city and who is affected most? Obviously, a car can hardly bypass a traffic jam, whereas a bike is more flexible to continue its journey. Let alone the pedestrian who can stroll wherever he wants to. Isoscope tries to answer the questions above by comparing different means of transport and their sensitivity for disturbances.

Once you are stuck in bad traffic conditions, you will need more time to cover the planned distance. In other words: stuck in a traffic jam, you will cover a smaller distance in a predefined amount of time. This is, what Isoscope is about: layered shapes show the area around a chosen location that is reachable within a chosen travel time. As traffic conditions change throughout the day, there are 24 layered shapes – each representing one hour of the day.

With Isoscope one can easily see and compare the influence of traffic conditions on our mobility or compare the reach of different means of transport. Within or among cities. Worldwide.

Pattern of London · Sunday · 2 Minutes
Pattern of London · Sunday · 2 Minutes

Publications Associated Publications

Isoscope — Visualizing temporal mobility variance with isochrone maps

  • Flavio Gortana
  • Sebastian Kaim
  • Martin von Lupin
  • Till Nagel
— VIS 2014
Isochrone maps are an established method to depict areas of equal travel time, and have been used in transportation planning since the early 20th century. In recent years, interactive isochrone maps allowed users to select areas of interest, or explore temporal mobility patterns for different modes of transport. However, conventional isochrone maps depict one traffic situation at a time. Our visualization approach unifies isochrone maps with time-varying travel data, and instead of showing multiple isolines for different travel times, we show multiple isolines for different times of day in order to reveal time-dependent spatial travel variance. In this paper, we present Isoscope, a web application that provides an interactive map for casual exploration of urban mobility patterns. Through its aesthetic visual form and its simple interface we strive to support people casually investigating travel time in their own city. We will describe our design goals, elaborate on the design and implementation of our prototype, and discuss limitations and future extensions of the system.
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People
Flavio Gortana
Sebastian Kaim
Martin von Lupin
Till Nagel

Year
2014 – now

Website