Urban Tick – Research Results in Google Earth

Imagine if you tracked your daily commute and every side trip for several months. What would your track reveal about the place you work? If you animated the track over time, what would it tell you about the daily flow of traffic in a city? Imagine using Google Earth to show the data and compare it to the underlying imagery and data GE provides? This is what a master’s student named Fabian in the UK name Fabian is doing and sharing through his blog Urban Tick (see his introductory post about the project). Fabian has so far tracked three different cities where he’s worked while recording his tracks. Hopefully he’ll release some of his visualization files for Google Earth, but he is documenting and sharing some of the data through videos. See the example below of his travels in Plymouth in the UK through the course of the day from data for an entire year.

In the visualization, the points which stay present the longest represent places where he stayed in one place (work places, eating a meal, etc.). Other visualizations at Fabian’s Urban Tick blog reveal the main roads and shape of the city, and also other cities where he’s collected data. I’m looking forward to seeing what other observations result from this research. Thanks to DigitalUrban for bringing this to my attention.

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. I can imagine.
    This tecnology is the best of all.

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