Life on Foot @ Design Museum

London’s Design Museum is devoted to celebrating product, industrial, graphic, fashion and architectural design. Its Life on Foot exhibition, “a creative journey into how traditional shoemaking has been shaped by contemporary design and new technologies”, premiered May 13. The exhibit also explores the science and culture of walking as an activity, looking at how life on foot differs in different societies around the world. Wearable devices like UP by Jawbone are transforming the way we track and understand our health as individuals, but also our knowledge of human behavior as a whole. For the exhibit, Jawbone’s passionate data scientists built visuals to share our unique perspective on how we move in our cities and around the world.

"We're delighted to work with Jawbone, who have built one of the largest databases in the world on steps and sleep. In the Design Museum exhibition Life on Foot, we wanted to explore the science and culture of walking as an activity, looking at how life on foot differs in different societies around the world. Jawbone was the right partner to give us data-backed insight into global movement patterns. Wearable devices like UP by Jawbone are transforming our knowledge of human behaviour."
- Nina Due, Head of Exhibitions, Design Museum

How the World Moves (Interactive)


This visualization shows a typical day of movement for the world in the UP system. Red and blue correspond to high and low levels of activity, respectively. Pick a city or country on the globe and watch their daily cycle animate: as the sun rises, people wake up and go about their day. After the sun goes down, their movement slows until they eventually go to bed. Or, at a single point in time, see who is awake and who is asleep. For example, at 9 am in New York, in Europe it’s midday and things are in full swing. It’s the middle of the night in Asia, however, and people are still asleep.

The Most Active Part of a City (Interactive)

The above interactive visualization shows the places in a city where people are the most active. It show the average number of steps per hour recorded by UP wearers in those locations. For example, in San Francisco, UP wearers get the most steps in Golden Gate Park, the Presidio, and near AT&T Park where the Giants play. The Jawbone data science team’s favorite run is along the water of the Embarcadero, we do it on Monday and Thursday afternoon, and apparently it is quite popular. At first, the locations in the water are a bit confusing, until you remember that the Bay is covered in a network of ferries and underground train lines, with people commuting on them.

Make sure to check out your city!

Technical Notes: All data is anonymized and presented in aggregate. The globe visualization is based on the steps of hundreds of thousands of people who tracked their steps with UP by Jawbone between Monday, October 27 and Friday, October 31, 2014. The city visualizations are also based on hundreds of thousands of people from 2013-2015.

Oat Spectrum_UP2 by Jawbone

About The Author

Brian Wilt

Brian leads an engineering team building personalized health insights and coaching. At Jawbone, he makes data human. He coaches kids volleyball. He earned his PhD studying neuroscience and applied physics at Stanford (go Card), and before that, high-energy physics at CERN and MIT. Follow him @brianwilt.