5,000 km of Cycling with Mapillary in May

Here at Mapillary, many of us like cycling. Apparently, it’s not just us but our awesome community as well. In celebration of National Bike Month we thought we would check on cyclists of Mapillary to reveal where in the world they use their bikes to photo map places they care about.

Mapillary sticker on a bike

Since we don’t automatically know whether a photo sequence was taken while driving, walking or cycling (especially when photos are taken with an action camera), we tweaked our data a bit to decide whether an activity is bike related or not. The algorithm mostly takes speed into consideration, taking care of stops at traffic lights and some other things. Of course a method like this can’t be 100% accurate. For one, you can run faster than a cyclist who is wondering about the beauties of nature. Or you may take photos on slow moving trains or boats. Nevertheless, we came up with a solution to identify where our cyclists map.

After examination of the result set we came to realize that biking and photo mapping are not something that only a few community members find interesting but there are great examples from all over the world. Within the first four weeks of May, we found 186 cyclists from 45 countries taking 650,000 photos along more than 5,000 km of roads. Below is a map to show where you could have run into mappers on their bikes in May. Among the top countries, you can easily notice the ones with traditionally strong biking culture, like Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands or for that matter, Italy. On the other hand, small but dedicated communities like in Ukraine, Austria or Bolivia made it possible for these countries to show up among the most active ones in terms of biking.

Mapper bikes reached many beautiful places in different world regions. For example you can

  • Downhill the famous streets of San Francisco

An average Mapillary bike mapper rides 6.8 times during a month, taking 3,500 photos along 27 km while spending 88 minutes in the saddle at an average speed of 17 km/h. While many of you see your bikes as a mean of transportation, using it for commutes as well, a clear peak of riding intensity can be identified over the weekend indicating that recreation and leisure are important aspects, too. We’re not professional athletes but we are eager to get out there and pedal through the weekend.

A great thing about Mapillary is flexibility. Whereas the most convenient way to take photos while on a bike is using a smartphone (60% of all photos), various action cameras are being used as well (36%). Interestingly, every 4 out of 100 bike photos were taken by other devices, like regular digital cameras along with a GPS logger. This method with devices found in most households allows you to stop and capture each interesting object that you might find interesting enough to map.

Taking a look at smartphone manufacturers, Android is more popular among Mapillary bikers, but Apple still holds a share of 30% of all smartphone photos. The most popular manufacturers on the Android platform were Huawei, Samsung, LG and Sony respectively. On the action camera market, Garmin and GoPro tend to lead the way with almost two thirds of all action camera photos. Other brands like Rollei Bullet5S and the Xiaomi Yi are catching up fast, though.

Don’t forget to tell us where and why you ride with Mapillary. We’d love to hear your stories along with your best shots.

Enjoy mapping and riding and also be safe in the saddle!

/Levente & The Mapillary Team

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