German Researchers Demonstrate Flow of Bike-Share Traffic

Aug 10, 2016

cycling Enlarge image (© picture alliance / dpa) German researchers from Potsdam have taken GPS tracking data from bike-share organizations in Berlin, New York and London to create an interactive installation with visual images of the flow of bikes in the three cities. The cf. city flows exhibition allows researchers to analyze and compare bike-sharing systems in the three cities.

The researchers of the installation, Till Nagel and Christopher Pietsch, say that cycling is a critical component of future urban mobility. A decade ago, there were only 24 bike-sharing systems in the world. Today, more than 800 cities have installed bike-sharing systems and that number is sure to continue growing. Many of these systems have GPS data, creating images of the cities' cycling culture.

The cf. city flows installation shows three views of the cities of Berlin, New York and London. The citywide view shows the movement of all bike-sharing trips, the small-multiple view zooms in on selected bike sharing stations to see the flow of incoming and outgoing bikes, and the station view shows further details of bike trips to and from a single station.

cycling Enlarge image (© picture alliance / dpa) According to the data, New York and London have a similar number of bike-sharing trips (about 35,000), while Berlin has less than 2,000. However, the company explains that Berlin has a large cycling culture and the bike-sharing system is primarily used by tourists. Since Berlin residents typically have their own bikes, they are less likely to use the bike-sharing system.

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By Nicole Glass, Editor of The Week in Germany

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