Travel guides are obsessed with helping you travel like a local. How do you know where the locals actually hang out, though?
An interactive visualization from a Stockholm-based cab company aims to show visitors local hotspots by looking at where their taxis take the most trips. Purported to be a “totally new type of tourist guide,” the site, Taxi Trails, visualizes the destinations of 8 million GPS-tracked trips made by Taxi Stockholm each year.
The colors of the heatmap indicate how popular the destination is: white for only a few trips per day, and orange for many trips. You can filter the map to only show destinations originating from “posh” or “hip” Stockholm neighborhoods. Select “less trips” and it will filter out the most popular destinations, “so it’s easier to find the hidden gems,” the website claims. Taxi trips don’t always correlate with lively nightlife and other attractions–people could be taking taxis to the doctor, or the bank–but the map features icons that identify common shopping, food, and cultural destinations, and you can look up each place on Google Street View.
It’s hard to say whether these destinations are truly local favorites, as it’s not clear how many of those 8 million trips are, in fact, made by locals. The hot spots could just as well show where a lot of tourists take taxis. Stockholm has high rates of public transportation usage and an extensive network of bicycle lanes, so taxi data might not provide the most comprehensive look into average life in the city.
Check it out for yourself here.