Every Move You Make: Patterns of Crowd Movement

  • Philip Ball


Walking from here to there doesn’t seem like the most complex choice we face in our lives. Don’t we, like light beams or the proverbial crow, just take the most direct route, proceeding at a pace that suits us? But exploring and navigating our environment on foot is rarely so simple. What if there are obstacles in our path? Robotics engineers have long realized that it is no mean feat to find a compromise between directness and smoothness of trajectory, with no abrupt changes of direction. What if the terrain varies – some paved, some grassy or muddy? Trickiest of all, what if the objects in our way are themselves moving, if they are other pedestrians headed somewhere else? How crowds move around open spaces is a sophisticated process of collective negotiation that depends vitally on how we interact with one another.


Direct Route Crowd Density Space Syntax Pedestrian Motion Complex Choice 
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Further Reading

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip Ball
    • 1
  1. 1.LondonUK

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