The mobile phone has rapidly become a very essential tool, that we carry with us all the time, everywhere we go. It has become the focus of our communication and information in a hyper-connected world, which tolerates less and less that we disconnect or just don't have immediate access to information.
Based on this conclusion the City of Geneva decided to take the challenge to visualize these digital traces created by our mobile phones. The objective of this installation is to make this data visible and allow you to explore these streams of connected people around the city, in their everyday life.
Almost 1.6 billion mobile phones have been sold worldwide in 2010, 19% of them being smartphones. In 2010, the number of mobile subscriptions has reached almost 10 million in Switzerland, which is more than the number of people living in the country. Approximately 25% of these telephones featured a broadband internet connection.
Every mobile phone leaves digital traces permanently, while interacting with the mobile infrastructure. It can be seen as a mobile sensor that allows to define the geographic position of the subscription holder, almost in real-time.
During one day Swisscom subscribers in Geneva generate approximately 15 million connections from 2 million phone calls. This information called 'digital traces' offers new insights about the city, which are of great interest both from a economic and political perspective. Examples are the following.
More generally digital traces allow to reveal information that is invisible in traditional visualization techniques such as cartography. They reflect mobility in a city or a street and therefore represent 'living' space, animated by the people.
The video and high-resolution images can be downloaded to be used in publications.
The above material can be used free of copyright provided that the project is duly credited, as it appears on this website and the city of Geneva receives a digital copy (PDF) of the publication before printing, and the final version afterwards.
For press inquiries, please get in touch with:
Ville de Genève
+41 (0)22 418 24 68
raoul.schrumpf(put an @ here)ville-ge.ch
A project by the City of Geneva
In collaboration with Lift
Realized by Interactive Things
Anonymized mobile data by Swisscom
Data processing and analysis by Near Future Lab