What questions can we answer with tracking methods?


With helmet cams getting cheaper, and phones being able to be used as tracking devices, we can expect a rash of studies like these around the topic of cycling. Recently I spent a morning at T.U.Delft with Stefan van der Spek, who is at the leading edge of this kind of research, and shortly I’ll be helping to supervise a group of students using their iPhones and cameras to study cyclists’ experiences of Launceston Tasmania.


I see tracking as a method waiting for questions. One that I would like to ask, is how do cyclists’ perceptions differ depending on their aversion to danger or effort? Fit a camera and tracking device to an average mum trying not to be killed on her bike, and you will get a very different picture to the one we get when a young hipster plays with his hero cam.


  1. As a commuter cyclist, well when I am commuter I feel naked now if I don’t have my cameras on my bike. Yes cameras: I have a front camera and rear camera and soon I will be running a helmet camera as well.

    I choose this for two reasons: My protection in case of insurance claim and I also let of steam by “YouTube ranting” (I post videos of silly cyclists too) and where appropriate reporting the driver to the police. I also see sharing these videos as important form an educational perspective as well.

    I have no qualms reporting drivers to the Police as hopefully it may just result in a positive change in their driving.

  2. jqr10001 says:

    The biggest issue I see with research based on tracking devices is that it will ignore the behavior of people on bicycles without cameras.

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