Place-centered map

Observers noted customer locations at a moment in time on an hourly basis at a U.S. Post Office. The above figure shows the results accumulated over time. The map reveals the areas and services most heavily and least heavily used. It can be used to improve service and circulation. (1)

Project for Public Spaces

This interdisciplinary team of social scientists and urban planners uses a combination of human observers and time-lapse photography to measure the use of parks, plazas, and other public spaces. The data provide an objective record of how the spaces are actually being used, regardless of how they were planned. The findings have been used to improve the design of public spaces throughout the world. For more info, see

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(1) Underhill, P. (1999). Why we buy? The science of of shopping. New York: Simon & Schuster.