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The proliferation of city data from private sources as well as official statistics (in line with open government initiatives) is creating exciting new possibilities for urban research. Many of these are live data feeds that if harvested over time accumulate into what have become broadly understood under the umbrella of big data. These data present particular research technical challenges as well as the opportunities they represent for modelling many urban dynamics, especially of flows of people, information and materials.

Mechanicity is working in collaboration with Transport for London to investigate the complexities of London’s transit systems through analysis of (anonymised) Oyster card data feeds, live bus and train movements and other data feeds. By looking at the dynamics of network flows and strengths and weaknesses of the system’s resilience to pressures and shocks we hope to build on earlier CASA research into this ‘pulse of the city’.

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