Whether we are travelling to work on a crowded train, booking a once in a lifetime holiday to an exotic destination or simply doing our weekly grocery shopping… we are leaving behind a digital footprint of where we have been, what we have done and how we felt about our experience.
Rapid developments in data capture technology and growing public engagement with social media are generating an increasing amount of data. By tapping in to this rich source of information we are helping inform and shape our future cities, buildings, lifestyles and societies / communities.
Real-time data about how people use space, resources, and how they feel about it provides deep insight in to behaviours, preferences and patterns. Being able to harness, visualise and drill down into this information is crucial to understanding the current situation, identify trends, highlight issues and spot opportunities.
In addition to powerful visualisations and data exploration, we use this data as a basis for predictive modelling. The outputs of which help make strategic tactical decisions, drive designs that are based on evidence not gut feel, and optimise real-time operations in a way that we know will work. We recognise the risk of not using this data and going with instinct or intuition – it can result in inefficient designs, poor user experience and in the worst cases serious incidents. Ultimately, basing decisions on data saves money, improves experience and helps avoid catastrophes.
Every year 300,000 commuters, 70,000 residents and 13 million tourists compete for space on the streets of Lower Manhattan. With a people flow of over 8,000 per hour there is hardly room to move. We used social media data, pedestrian counts and surveys to identify areas of high congestion and opportunities for a new tourist trail.
David Betts, senior people flow analyst