Dave Banister’s group at Oxford have just started a seminar series on new approaches to transport and mobility modelling called “Modelling on the Move” and two of us from UCL, myself and Peter Jones from the Centre for Transport Studies talked a couple of weeks ago at the inaugural session. Peter talked about five different approaches to modelling which have evolved chronologically over the last 40 years and I talked about how big data is beginning to challenge us in thinking about new conceptions of how cities work and new models that might pick on such conceptions.
My talk was really a rehash of various projects that we have on flows in CASA – the Oyster card tube data, Richard Milton’s slow but sure analysis of the APIs which locate all trains and buses in London, Ollie O’Brien’s bikes data, and bits and pieces on social media and how we can extract locations and flows. But the essence of the talk was that we should be able to develop new kinds of models of these flows, which are very different from the data, and the models that we had in the past. The great challenge in all this is how networks are coupled together and this is something that I feel we are very well placed to explore in CASA where our focus on cities consists of a multiplicity of activities an their networks.
You can see my talk as a movie if you click on this link here. Couldn’t resist the picture of the steam train running through Baker Street station last week at the dead of night as a rehearsal for the 150th anniversary of the tube in January 2013.