Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Discover Your City's DNA

Moovel Lab has created an interactive map tool which will enable you to discover your city's Urban Mobility Fingerprint and Street DNA.

The Mobility Fingerprint map which the tool creates shows the routes which can be taken from a single central location in a city to many destinations around the city within a set travel time. The routes on the map are colored by their compass direction. For example, the map above shows where and how far you can drive from Central Park in 15 minutes and the routes which you would have to drive to get to these destinations.

The Street DNA (on the right in the image above) rotates all the routes on the map so that they align north to south. An ideal straight line here would indicate that the route taken from A to B was in a direct straight line. However very few cities have straight roads shooting out from a central location like the spokes of a wheel. In reality in most cities to get from A to B you have to take many twists and turns. In New York, for example, the city's rivers tend to be natural obstacles when getting from A to B, forcing motorists to route via the Brooklyn Bridge, Battery Tunnel, Queensboro Bridge etc. The result is that New York's Street DNA has lots of routes which deviate a long way from the ideal straight line.

In the example Street DNA images created by Moovel Lab for different cities waterways and topographical features such as hills seem to feature prominently in those cities which have large deviations from the 'ideal' straight routes. The image above shows the Street DNAs for San Francisco and Moscow. Routes in Moscow tend to be far straighter than in San Francisco. In San Francisco the roads have to cope with many large hills and the vast expanse of water surrounding much of the city.

You can use Moovel Lab's Explore tool to create your own Mobility Fingerprint and Street DNA maps. The tool only works for European towns and cities. Using the tool you can adjust the travel time and mode of transport. You can also set any location as the center point for your map visualizations.

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