Tracing London’s Taxis

To earn their hackney license, London’s taxi drivers must all famously master “The Knowledge,” a vast compilation of raw data about the best routes through the city’s streets. The memorization process takes an average of 34 months to study — and 12 attempts to pass. That means it’s a safe bet few licensed London cabbies are ever lost, and — since they’re also immune from central London’s congestion charge or from restrictions on private vehicles in places like busy Oxford Street — the patterns driven by the city’s trademark black cabs probably reflect the overall distribution of street traffic in the British capital better than any other proxy.

Part of the BBC’s visually absorbing Britain from Above series, which also includes this mesmerizing time-lapse of Britain’s busiest rail station, the video above examines the patterns tread by London’s taxis over the course of a day by combining GPS data about their location with satellite imagery of the city, telling the story of Londoners’ movements by tracing their routes in light.

This entry was written by Christopher Szabla , posted on Saturday March 06 2010at 12:03 am , filed under Europe, Maps, Transportation, Video and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

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