Paths by team Beta Informatics is helping to make it greener, safer, and more fun to travel around Edinburgh. Our interactive tool lets people draw their regular journeys around the city, and shows patterns in terms of how other people travel around the Inverleith area.

Paths involved a number of rounds of research with members of the community, and we developed a prototype website that allows users to either draw their route, or to upload GPS data if they use a mobile app for tracking journeys like bike routes. The main focus was building a solution that lets the Council capture insightful data about travel in Edinburgh at a level not currently possible.

For example, a bike counter on a new bike path will show the number of cyclists using the new route, but it doesn’t show where they are coming from, where thay are going, and importantly, whether they have just switched routes or are in fact new to cycling. The Paths tool provides this functionality through its data capture and visualisation, including the option to add notes to journeys. In terms of how the tool is useful for residents, it can show things like whether there are other people in the area who bike or walk to work, and whether these people in fact get to work quicker than the car drivers.