'ManyCities' Uses Mobile Phone Data to Visualize Human Activity

A new online visualization tool makes it easier to read and understand data about mobile phone usage in four cities around the world, including Los Angeles and New York.
September 10, 2015, 6am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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According to a post on MIT Technology Review, the SENSEable City Laboratory, part of MIT, and Ericsson, a network infrastructure technology company, have unveiled an online tool that "uses mobile phone data to visualize human activity in cities all over the world."

The ManyCities tool, as it's called, "[gathers] mobile phone data from base stations across the cities of Los Angeles, New York, London, and Hong Kong between April 2013 and January 2014. The data includes the number of calls placed, the number of text messages sent, the amount of data downloaded and uploaded and the number of data requests at 15-minute intervals."

As an example of how the ManyCities visualization tool could be used, a Los Angeles civic enthusiast might peruse the site surprised to discover that the highest density of call activity in the city is located in Koreatown and Westlake.

The team behind ManyCities also presented the tool in the July issue of the Landscape Architecture Frontiers journal.

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Published on Tuesday, September 8, 2015 in MIT Technology Review
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