A city's traffic visualized as a beating heart

Road networks are the blood vessels of a modern city, and Libson's coastal orientation and traffic patterns create the perfect visualization for this metaphor. This work by Pedro Cruz immediately makes sense before you hear the full explanation for how he made The Blood Vessels in the traffic of Lisbon, but here it is if you're curious:

The road network of Lisbon was queried from OpenSreetMap, parsed and filtered. Using this information, a spring based physics system is build for the road network and a filling structure of each vessel. The data is overlaid on the resultant structure to determine the road where each vehicle is at a given moment. This allows to inject data at runtime and excite the system as follows: a greater number of vehicles on a vessel tend to make it thicker, higher speeds tend to contract its length (an vice-versa). The latter behavior was chosen in order to transmit a global impression of the perceived distances within the city. This behavior shrinks the city when the traffic velocities are higher, and distends it in the rush hours when the city faces congestion problems. In what concerns coloring, lower speeds imply the darkening of a vessel, expressing slower circulation and stagnant blood.



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