Monday, July 13, 2020

The History of Public Transit

Citylines (not to be confused with county lines) is a collaborative platform which is busy mapping the public transit systems of the world. Using Citylines you can explore interactive maps visualizing the local transit systems of hundreds of cities around the globe. You can also use Citylines to explore how each city's public transport network has grown over time.

My favorite feature of Citylines is the ability to view a city's transit network developing over the years. Each city's transit system map includes a date control, which allows you to view the extent of the local transit network for any year in history. Press the play button on the map and you can view an animated map showing how the city's transit system has developed through history.

Another interesting feature of Citylines is the compare tool. This enables you to view the transit maps for any two global cities side-by-side. These comparison maps also include a timeline, so it is possible to compare the transit maps for your chosen cities for any year in history and compare how the transit systems in both cities have grown over time.

All the data used on Citylines is open sourced under the Open Database License (ODbL). This means that if you want to create your own city public transit map then you can download the data for your map from Citylines (in json or CSV formats).

I wish I had known about the Citylines map data when I created my animated map of the first 40 years of the London Underground. It would have saved me a lot of work.

My animated map shows the development of the network from 1863-1900. The London Underground began when the Metropolitan Line opened in 1863. This original line had seven stations and stretched between Paddington and Farringdon. By 1990 the network had grown to include a District Line and the beginnings of the Northern Line.

You can see how the London Underground grew during its first 40 years on my History of the London Underground. If you press the 'Start' button on the map the London Underground lines will start to appear on the map in the order in which they were constructed. The animated tube lines were created using the Leaflet.Polyline.SnakeAnim plugin for Leaflet.js. If I ever have a spare month I might get around to adding the next 119 years of construction to the map. It should be a lot easier now I know the data is available from Citylines.

If you want to complete the London Underground history map yourself or reuse the code then you are welcome to do so. You can clone my project on Glitch.

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