Zurich is the largest city of Switzerland with around 380,000 inhabitants (June 2008). In the metropolitan area of Zurich, which is much larger than the city itself, live more than 1 million people, while Switzerland has a total population of about 7.5 million people.
Zurich was one of the first real-world scenarios that was created for MATSim, as the development of MATSim itself started in Zurich. The scenario was later extended to cover whole Switzerland. Over the years, more and more data could be collected for Switzerland or Zurich, leading to improved scenarios for whole Switzerland as well as Zurich.
The newest Zurich scenario currently uses a Swiss regional planning network consisting of over 24,000 nodes and more than 60,000 unidirectional links, covering all of Switzerland as well as major European transit corridors.
The travel demand is based on a synthetic population for whole Switzerland, generated out of different data (e.g. Swiss national census, micro census, enterprise census). All travellers have complete daily activity patterns, individual activity durations, and an initial mode choice.
Simulation results can be compared to nearly 160 traffic counting stations in the region of Zurich, or over 500 such counting stations in whole Switzerland.
In the simulation shown in the movie above all travelers from the synthetic population of whole Switzerland were included that, when driving a car, would be at least once inside an imaginary boundary around Zurich during their day as part of their routing. The boundary is defined as a circle with radius 30 kilometres (around 18.6 miles) and with its center at "Bellevue", a central place in Zurich. In order to obtain a higher computational speed, a random 10% sample was chosen for simulation, resulting in 181,484 agents. Those agents could decide during the simulation if they travel with a car or make use of a non-car transportation mode.
The movie starts with a general view of a large part of Switzerland, then zooming in to the Zurich metropolitan area, zooming further in to the city in the afternoon hours, and finally returning back to an overview of Switzerland in the evening hours. Each colored dot represents a single, simulated vehicle (green = high velocity, red = low velocity)