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Mobile Landscapes: Graz in Real Time
Carlo Ratti, Andres Sevtsuk, Sonya Huang
SENSEable City Laboratory - MIT
Project Description:
The technology for determining the geographic location of cellphones and other hand-held devices is becoming increasingly available. It is opening the way to a wide range of applications, collectively referred to as Location Based Services (LBS), which are primarily aimed at individual users. However, if deployed to retrieve aggregated data in cities, LBS could become a powerful tool for urban cartography.

The "Mobile Landscapes: Graz in Real Time" project was developed as part of the M-City exhibition (Graz Kunsthaus, 1 October 2005 - 8 January 2006, with curator Marco De Michelis), in collaboration with the cellphone operator A1/Mobilkom Austria. Three types of maps of the urban area of Graz, Austria, were developed and shown in real-time on the exhibition premises: cellphone traffic intensity, traffic migration (handovers) and traces of registered users as they move through the city.

The images shown here represent traffic migration. This mapping method computes origins and destinations of cell-phone calls passing through the city of Graz. The results shown are calculated anonymously on all calls, in a statistically chosen order. The actual process of transferring calls from one cell-phone to another cell-phone is called a "handover." The traces, represented as orange lines, start and end in the corresponding geographic areas of where the cell phones were used to make and receive calls.

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