City Flows

City Flows is a comparative visualization environment of urban bike mobility designed to help citizens casually analyze three bike-sharing systems in the context of a public exhibition space. site

By Till Nagel and Christopher Pietsch, Urban Complexity Lab, FH Potsdam.

VIMEO 173787508 More info at

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Three high-resolution screens show the space of flows of New York City, Berlin, and London through visualizing bike journeys.

With our visualizations we want to understand the pulse of urban mobility, and create portraits of a city defined by its transient dynamics.

cf. city flows is an installation comprising multiple visualizations of bike-sharing journeys in three cities combining established mapping and visualization techniques within a highly aestheticized form in order to attract visitors to engage with urban mobility.


Bike share mapping creates beautiful portraits of London, NYC and Berlin. guardian

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of cf. city flows is the technical work that went into its planning and design.

To get a sense of the complexity involved in condensing tens of thousands of disparate bike journeys into simple, coherent patterns, see the video above. It covers the creators’ use of “edge bundling”, just one of many complex methods used in the project’s exploratory design process to find and highlight patterns in the data.