A team of scientists, designers, artists, and architects at MIT are on a mission to visualize everyday living experiences from coffee shops to bike crashes in cities across the nation, one map at a time.
The project by the MIT Media Lab’s Social Computing group is called You Are Here, and their goal is to create “an atlas of human experience” and help make cities safer. Every day for the next year they will upload a new map to their site that uses data to outline a specific topics that will help people understand the city better.
So far, the project has produced 20 interactive maps of 12 cities including Cambridge, Mass. The three maps created for Cambridge include street greenery, coffee shops, and police-reported bike crashes.
The map on bike crashes shows that a majority of the nearly 800 police-reported crashes took place in the four years of reported data happened on Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge Street, and Hampshire Street.
According to the project site:
Mapping where bike accidents occur might encourage cities to put separate bike lanes where there are lots of accidents.
For the other maps, the team relied on Google Street View, census data, city-level data from police reports or zoning ordinances.
“If through maps we learn how to better our cities (making them more alive, safer, prettier, healthier) social technology should streamline change through acknowledgment, advocacy, civic action and public and private initiatives,” they wrote on their site.