Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Mapped Visualisations of Urban Transit Data

The Urban Data Challenge invited developers to create visualisations of transport data for San Francisco, Geneva, and Zurich. Unsurprisingly maps were a very popular choice for the developers who took part in the challenge. OpenStreetMaps and the Google Maps API seem to have been the most used tools amongst the winning visualisations.

One of the second prize winners was Frustration Index. Frustation Index uses a styled Google Map to show the level of service for transit services in San Francisco, Geneva, and Zurich.

The map looks at the transit data for one day in each city and visualises frustrations caused by over-crowding, delays, and speeds. The map includes a timeline so users can explore the changing data throughout the day.

One of the third prize winners was A City's Heartbeat. A City's Heartbeat uses Google Maps, CartoDB and D3.js to show three very different mapped visualisations of Geneva's tram network.

The first visualisation allows the user to to playback a mapped animation of tram movements over a two day period. The second visualisation uses a line graph to show the total traffic volume of the entire city.

The third visualisation uses the Google Earth browser plug-in to allow the user to simulate a 3d ride on any of the city's tram routes.

One Map, One Week in Public Transit received an honourable mention. In this visualisation Vasile Cotovanu uses his popular vehicle simulator to present a simulated real-time map of Geneva's TPG transit network.

The map animates the city's transit network based on the published timetables and allows the user to get 'real-time' information about the vehicle timetables, load and average speed.

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