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. photo: an open-plan office
    Life

    Even the Pandemic Can’t Kill the Open-Plan Office

    Even before coronavirus, many workers hated the open-plan office. Now that shared work spaces are a public health risk, employers are rethinking office design.

  2. photo: The Pan-Am Worldport at JFK International Airport, built in 1960,
    Design

    Why Airports Die

    Expensive to build, hard to adapt to other uses, and now facing massive pandemic-related challenges, airport terminals often live short, difficult lives.

  3. A woman stares out at crowds from behind a screen, reflecting on a post-pandemic world where exposure with others feels scary.
    Life

    What Our Post-Pandemic Behavior Might Look Like

    After each epidemic and disaster, our social norms and behaviors change. As researchers begin to study coronavirus’s impacts, history offers clues.

  4. photo: Social-distancing stickers help elevator passengers at an IKEA store in Berlin.
    Transportation

    Elevators Changed Cities. Will Coronavirus Change Elevators?

    Fear of crowds in small spaces in the pandemic is spurring new norms and technological changes for the people-moving machines that make skyscrapers possible.

  5. Maps

    Your Maps of Life Under Lockdown

    Stressful commutes, unexpected routines, and emergent wildlife appear in your homemade maps of life during the coronavirus pandemic.

×