If you are in rush to find your way from point A to point B then there is no better alternative than Google Maps (the opposite goes for Apple Maps). However, if you are interested in digging into just how hard or easy it is to get around your city, Isoscape is an interesting new visualization tool on the web. The program was built by students from Potsdam University of Applied Sciences and has been floating around the web this week due to it’s unique functionality and visual style.
Per their website:
As we think about traffic in cities as somewhat like the pulse of the city, Isoscope is an approach to capture this rhythm with its up and downs. It’s an interactive tool that creates aesthetic visuals about locations that are reachable by car in a chosen time from a chosen location. The boundaries of the reachability is shown by 24 layered organic shapes, while one layer represents one hour of the day. The output reveals many information like the traffic infrastructure, connectivity of regions and natural boundaries. Since the location to choose is not exclusive, places all over the world can be explored and compared.
Isoscope uses real-time and historic traffic data to determine the range of travel for a chosen location. Also, because the place you pic isn’t a specific location, a wide range of places could be examined. The tool even explores pedestrian movement and you can compare different locations at one time.
While looking through the individual stats of your city is pretty interesting, take a moment to explore the team’s creative process for developing their final product. If you are like me then you may have just assumed this is just them plugging in data into a GIS program and spitting out the results. However, you would discover that there was an immense amount of visual and user experience planning in order to create what seems like a relatively simple interface. The tool is deceiving in that sense and it is a testament to the design team that it looks that way.
Benjamin Boyd is a landscape designer in Baltimore, Maryland. You can follow him on Twitter at @benboyduf.