How modalyzer works

modalyzer is your mobility logbook for learning more about your individual mobility: How long did I travel today? How long did I cycle last week? How often did I take the bus? modalyzer automatically detects nine different modes of transportation, simply by carrying your smartphone with you. Maps and statistics will be able to collate your data and tell you when and where you used what mode of transport, how long were you out and what distance you travelled.

Installation and Use

Installing modalyzer on your smartphone

modalyzer is available for iPhone and Android smartphones. You may find the application by typing “modalyzer” in the search field of your App Store or Play Store.

To ensure a secure access to your confidential data via app or website, you enter your email address and add a secured password when you register. You are now ready to go!

We request you to permit access to your location, activity data as well as the notification via push-message.

Have your tracks recorded automatically

By starting the modalyzer app and the recording, your location and movement data are gathered. As soon as your smartphone is connected to Internet your data will be transmitted from the app to the modalyzer server (located in Germany), where your used modes of transportation, travel durations and distances will be calculated.

The following modes of transportation are automatically detected:

Bicycle
Bus
Car
Light rail
Regional train
Subway
Train
Tram
Walking

Moreover, you can add more modes of transportation manually:

Airplane
Boat
Coach
Minibus
Motorcycle/Scooter
Trolleybus
As a standard setting, your data will be transmitted, when your smartphone is connected to WiFi. In case you want your data quicker, you may activate the mobile data transmission (GSM) in the app.

Look into your logbook and learn all about your mobility

On the modalyzer website as well as in the app, you can find your entries for all days when your tracks were recorded.

Visualized in a map, you can find all modes of transportation you used, your traveled distances and the duration. Diagrams and tables in the statistics section can convey more about your individual mobility.

In case some tracks are not displayed correctly, it works best to confirm tracks and make adequate changes as necessary. You may help us to improve modalyzer by editing and commenting incorrect suggestions via the editing button.

Your data will be included in your mobility statistics only after you have checked and confirmed your daily entries with the button “Day confirmed”, thereby ensuring only correct data in your statistics section.

Support research projects and help shape Mobility of the future

You can actively shape future mobility by supporting some of our projects with your data. You can decide if and what projects you would like to support with your data. No personal data or information will be transmitted to our customers. Apart from the good feeling contributing to the development of mobility research and shaping future mobility, some projects offer an additional reward for your support as well. Further information is shown in the project details.

To participate in a project, we ask you to answer only a few questions in your profile, so as to ascertain what projects suit you best.

Data privacy

You chose how your data shall be used. modalyzer is a research tool with data privacy and protection given utmost importance from the very beginning of its development. All transmitted data is encrypted before being saved. Our data servers are located in Germany and are certified. If you support a project, your data will be treated anonymously or pseudonymously. We specify in every project, how your data is being used and what goal we are pursuing. The evaluation and analysis is carried out by us. No project partner can see non-aggregated data sets.

Your data will be transmitted anonymously or pseudonymously to projects you support.

FAQ

Android

You need an Android smartphone with a systems software Version 4.03 or higher as well as Google-Play. Unfortunately, some devices do not meet the system requirements of modalyzer (e.g. Fairphone).

iPhone

You need an iPhone with iOS 8 or higher. Therefore, only iPhone 4s or newer can be used.

Android

Please note that Android smartphones vary according to the device type with regards to descriptions and navigation:

Go to settings (usually a gearwheel symbol) and select device information directly in setting or options. Here, you’ll find the installed Android version that should be 4.03 or higher. In the settings, you also find the category „applications“ or „apps” where you can find “Google Play Services” (usually a jigsaw symbol). If your Android version is newer than 4.03 and if you have installed Google Play Services, your Android smartphone meets the requirements.

iPhone

You find your iOS version on your iPhone in settings/general/information. You should have installed at least version 8.0 or higher. In settings/general/software update, you can check if you have a current iOS version. Updates to iOS 8 are only available for iPhone 4s and newer versions.

Tracking is only possible, if you have activated location services on your device. Thus, you have to allow the use of location services after installing modalyzer.

If the location services are switched off, you see a red notification “GPS is deactivated” in the app settings. If they are enabled, you see a green notification labeled “GPS is activated”.

Android

You are able to access location services directly from the modalyzer app. If you select “GPS is deactivated”, you will be directed to the device’s system properties. Please allow the the use of location data by selecting “location consent”. The location data will be treated anonymously. Please also activate “use wireless networks” and “use GPS satellites” for improving the location quality.

iPhone

Please go to preferences/privacy/location services and enable location services. In addition, you have to give modalyzer access to location services.

The use of location services - especially GPS – results in higher battery consumption. However, we will keep the consumption of energy to a minimum by the use of effective algorithms. If, for instance, the app recognizes that the phone stays mainly in one location, the tracking function will be turned into sleeping mode. The algorithms are permanently optimized.

Your phone is constantly looking for location information while in motion. So if you are at work or at home, we advise not to carry your phone in your pocket. This will help to maximize battery life time.

We recommend that you charge your smartphone as often as possible, for example at work or in your car. If you know in advance that you will not change your location for a longer time, you can switch off modalyzer. In this case, please use the reminder function, which will remind you to start modalyzer again at a certain time.

modalyzer changes automatically to eco-mode (energy saving), if your device has not been used for some time and it will be usually reactivated if you start using it again. Unfortunately, on some devices, the activation and reactivation function is not very reliable. You could activate the function “GPS always on” on your Android smartphone or switch off the eco mode on your iPhone.

The smartphone will only transfer data if you are connected to the Internet (Wi-Fi or mobile data). We will only analyze tracks that are finished. Therefore, you will not see any life tracks while travelling. That means if the system recognizes new tracks for a day that was already confirmed, the day will be marked as “unconfirmed” again.

„My statistics“ will only cover tracks that were validated in “my tracks” by selecting the green button (“day confirmed”) in the transport mode list.

If you activated modalyzer while travelling, you can access new tracks in the app or on the website. If tracks are not displayed in the option tracks, please first try to reload the site again by moving the site to the button of the page with your fingers. If new tracks still not appear, please check whether:

  • The app is active and you activated the tracking function.

  • Your smartphone is connected to the internet and then upload your data to the server. Please note: per default data is only uploaded if there is an active WIFI signal. You can activate mobile upload if you like

  • You didn’t upload any data yet. You can check this in your profile.

Your user account includes access to the interactive website www.modalyzer.com where you can control your complete data set. You find all recorded trips and identified transport modes in “my tracks” and you can delete trips for a complete day in the menu button “data summary”. To delete your data, please use the red recycle bin button next to the day to delete and confirm your selection with “Ok”.

It is likely that you cannot participate in every research project. This can have several reasons:

  • The research project is finished.

  • You did not complete your profile information (year of birth, gender, ZIP code, access to valid driver’s license)

  • We are looking for a different target group for that survey.

  • It is a “closed project” and participants are recruited in other ways.

First of all, you can see your data and you are the only person who is systematically looking at your data. This is important to us since your data belongs to you. Only very few people who are directly involved in the evaluation of the data have access to the tracking data. We only make use of this option to detect system failures and to improve the overall system performance. If you participate in a research project by donating your data, your data will only be analyzed by a very small internal team. We use this information only to identify general trends and specifications of aggregated user groups. Generally, even with the donation of data to a research project, we will not analyze datasets of individual persons.

Our system automatically identifies your mode of transport. This also means that errors can occur. By letting you confirm whether the suggestion is correct or not, we can improve the algorithm and overall system performance. By doing so, we can increase the validity of results of our mobility research. Please note that only confirmed days are used to generate your personal statistics.

Yes, of course. You can participate in multiple projects. However, not every research project is suitable for you. Please complete the list of basic information (year of birth, gender, ZIP code, access to valid driver’s license) in the menu button “profile”. Thereby, we can find the most suitable project for you.

Sure! You can download all of your collected way points in one file (.csv). You can find the download link in your profile.