Dive into Sydney traffic data with Uber Movement

We all know that those apps that we use are gathering an ocean of data about what’s happening; but we rarely get to see beneath the surface. Uber has just given us all scuba gear for its data with the release of Uber Movement.

Uber Movement provides access to aggregated and anonymised data on Uber trips. It covers four cities around the World including Sydney.

You can play with the data and find out what the average time a trip from your home to the airport will take, then change the parameters such as time of day to see what changes. This isn’t really designed for individual use in finding out how long a trip will take, but for finding insights into travel time more generally.

So, for example, if you see that the travel time from your home to the airport only changes by, say, five percent between peak and trough periods you could conclude that the traffic management is working well. Similarly when you see that peak hour makes a 50 per cent difference to getting over the Harbour Bridge you could conclude that something is not working as well as it might. The sheer quantity of data means that there are some real insights to be found. And it’s fun to fiddle around with.

Why are they doing this? It’s because they hope that…

…access to our aggregated data will inform decisions about how to adapt existing infrastructure and invest in future solutions to make our cities more efficient. We hope Uber Movement can play a role in helping cities grow in a way that works for everyone.

The interface is simple to work with and datasets can be downloaded. All you need to access it, is to sign up with Uber.

Just a thought, but this sort of information must be just as readily available from Sydney Transport tracking it’s buses in realtime and from the Opal Card usage. But that’s one where we’re not only not being given scuba gear but are being chained to the beach. I’m guessing the reason that information is not being made publicly available, by a government that prides itself on openness, is because they don’t want anyone looking too closely at how often they manage to run on time.

Anyway, good on Uber for releasing its data. If you want to take a paddle in Uber Movement it can be found here.

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