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— urbantick

GPS Tracks Basel 2007

For a three month period I tracked my journey while living in Basel, Switzerland. In this example the modes of transport are bicycle, bus, tram and as a pedestrian. There are a number of lines leaving the image down in to the rest of Switzerland towards north is Germany and west is France). This is probably down to the fact that Basel as a city is quite small compared to Plymouth or London. An other aspect, especially compared to Plymouth is that the public transport is very good. Even though one does not have a car, it is simple and quick to go somewhere, this probably motivates to make trips to other places.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
The pattern that usually shows where I live and where I work appears surprisingly less obvious that expected. The knot where I lived is somehow visible, but apart from this is rather unclear.
Strong lines also appear along the train line Basel-Olten and there is a strongly visible mark leading towards the Laufental.
Image by urbanTick – The straight lines occur where the GPS device had a weak satellite connection

The following are notes just after I recorded the tracks in 2007-02-15.
“…it is again the graph with the plotted tracks that show how I move around the city. The pattern stayed the same it became just denser. I stopped this record at the end of the year. So I do have now three month of records, guess that’s enough as there is no changes in sight for the near future.
The pattern develops around a few hotspots and connects them within and with some points of interest or necessity.
As it is basically a movement pattern and not an activity pattern there is not much to find about my acting in the city. It is talking about the city structure and tells the story of how one can move about this particular area. Maybe more interesting is what I do in between. One could say this is closer to some kind of space-syntax research, but maybe in terms of how activities are structuring the movement within the settlement this is not very useful. It is too close to the physical reality to tell a richer story.
There is a lot of information missing. For example it would be very interesting to actually see where and how long I stopped somewhere. There are brakes in between the lines, at my workplace, where I go for lunch… these events could tell a totally different story. It is actually recorded in most of the daily data on the GPS device, I just do not know how to visualize this…!
I am already working for a few months with this device and I am still impressed by the output. The drawing shown is very simple but it visualizes very clear how much of the city structure I actually know, in terms of physically experienced, and how much I have left out. But still, I would claim to know the city as a whole. Despite the fact I haven’t seen large areas I create a mental image of the city and its network of connections. …”