Human

The developers of Human have complied user data into stunning visualizations that show how and where we get around.

An app designed to encourage exercise can also tell us a lot about the way different cities get from point A to B. 

The app, called Human, runs in the background of your iPhone, automatically detecting activities like walking, cycling, running, and motorized transport. The point is to encourage you to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day.

Almost a year since Human launched (last August), its developers have released stunning visualization of all that movement: 7.5 million miles traveled by their app users so far.

On their site, you can look into the mobility data inside 30 different cities. Once you click on one, you'll be greeted with a pie chart that shows the distribution of activity within that city lined up against a pie chart that shows the international average.

In the case of Amsterdam, its transportation clichés are verified. App users in the bike-loving city use two wheels way more than they use four. And they walk about as much as anywhere else:

Human then shows the paths traveled by their users. When it comes to Amsterdam, the results look almost exactly like the city's entire street grid, no matter what physical activity is being shown:

As for Houston, a city quite the opposite of Amsterdam in many ways, the results look quite different. As you'd expect, Houstonians love their cars and don't walk much: 

When translated to exact paths, the results end up making Houston look like four different cities depending on which type of movement is being visualized. Only when the driving paths are shown does the data resemble the Houston we know from an aerial map:

The city-by-city results are perhaps most fascinating when viewed as a video. Displaying minute-by-minute data from each location, Human shows how the volume of movement around different parts of each place changes throughout the day:

This is how we move from Human on Vimeo.

 

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. An apartment building in Sacramento, California.
    Equity

    The American Housing Crisis Might Be Our Next Big Political Issue

    Several new advocacy groups have sprung up to push for better housing policies at the state and national level. Their first job: Communicating how significant the problem really is.

  2. Maps

    Inside the Massive U.S. 'Border Zone'

    All of Michigan, D.C., and a large chunk of Pennsylvania are part of the area where Border Patrol has expanded search and seizure rights. Here's what it means to live or travel there.

  3. Life

    Where Americans Are Moving for Work

    Most of the top cities are the usual suspects—but there’s something odd happening in Silicon Valley.

  4. A bus stop in the Estonian town of Värska
    Transportation

    Estonia Will Roll Out Free Public Transit Nationwide

    Meet the new world leader in fare-free living.

  5. POV

    It's Not Cool to Argue About Whether D.C. Is Cool

    Can increasingly unaffordable urban places have too many trendy restaurants and hipsters? Maybe that’s not the right question.