For 9 years people have been able to upload GPS traces to OpenStreetMap and now the data is being made available for people to map. Most of the traces appear to have come from people who are driving, although other modes are definitely represented. The data is apparently very useful for being able to map roads and adjust maps where the map doesn’t match aerial imagery. The data has been visualised by mapbox by using colour depending on the direction of the trace this is as per below.
The direction works by comparing the angle between each point in the GPS track and the one that follows it. If the track says that a person was in one location and then the next point in the track is due east of there, the line between the two is colored red.
The results create some extremely beautiful maps of transport systems. Here the central city of Auckland where a few things that stand out. The motorway network and Fanshawe St show up really strongly, and to a lesser extend so do Quay St, Symonds St and Hobson St. There is an explosion of squiggly lines around the Skytower and lots of them up and down Queen St and Albert St which I’m guessing represent lots of people walking.
The amount of data available for Auckland pales in comparison to that of Europe however so I’d suggest using the map on this link to go and view it.
H/T to The Atlantic Cities