Sunday, June 28, 2015

24 Hours of Train Traffic in 60 Seconds


There has been a long tradition of using transit network timetables to create real-time transit map simulations. Vasile Coțovanu's Swiss Railways Network was probably the very first nationwide transit map which simulated train movements in real-time based on the network timetable.

Recently a new approach to mapping GTFS transit timetables has become popular. This new approach uses CartoDB's Torque library to provide a sped-up animated visualization of a tranist network. El Trafico de Trenes is a good example of this new trend.

Microsiervos has used Torque to visualize 24 hours of traffic on the Spanish rail network in just over one minute. Microsiervos has released two different maps. One shows an animated visualization of 24 hours of Spain's long distance trains. The other animates 24 hours of Spain's freight trains.


You can also view a simulation of one day of San Francisco's SFMTA bus network visualized on a map using CartoDB's Torque library. Danny Whalen's SFMTA Weekday Stop Times map animates all of San Francisco's buses over 24 hours in just 60 seconds.

If you want to create your own visualizations of a transit network then you might want to have a look at Vasile's Transit Map library. Vasile has also released the code for a GTFS (General Transit Feed Specification) plug-in as well. GTFS-viz converts a set of GTFS files into a SQLite database and the GeoJSONs needed by his Transit Map library.

If you want to create a sped-up version of a city's transit network then you should consider using the city's GTFS feed with CartoDB's Torque library.
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