Streams and Traces – Mapping the ephemeral city











A new type of cartography has emerged that changes the way we see our environment. Visualizations of our personal and collective movements through the city reveal unseen patterns and relations.
People move, people gather, people choose. We know how to travel to our workplace, where we want to meet our friends, and we know how to choose our mode of transportation. One day our decision might be influenced by the average duration of our travel, another day by the weather, more generally it is influenced by our habits and convictions. Visualizations of urban mobility aggregate movements, let us compare cities and examine their transport infrastructure.
By tapping into literature, archives, and social media, it becomes possible to relate fictional narrative and public sentiment to the spatiality of cities and uncover other patterns of mobility. Places may accumulate meaning because of their role in the threads of fictional narrative, historical visions of the city, or current activities in social media.
Visualizations are aesthetic representations that can turn data streams into interpretable traces. We believe that visualizations can empower citizens to make sense of the invisible layers in their environment and participate in imagining the city of tomorrow.
The exhibition “Streams and Traces – Mapping the ephemeral city” displays a series of visualizations as novel perspectives on the collective, personal, cultural, emotional, and physical aspects of urban mobility. The projects were developed at the Urban Complexity Lab ( at the Potsdam University of Applied Sciences ( with the aim to create a portrait of a city defined by its transient dynamics.

Opening: Thursday, 5th Nov, 7 – 11 pm
Exhibition: 6th Nov – 11th Nov, 4 – 9 pm
Venue: Galerie erstererster, Pappelallee 69, Berlin