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Data Graphics Mashups Technical

Fewer Cities, More Cities

Some bad news and good news about the Bike Share visualisation.

The bad news – the operator behind the schemes in Paris, Seville, Vienna, Dublin, Brussels, Valencia and Toyama asked me to stop getting the current bike share data from their websites. Although I was just loading their webpages, “in practice you are extracting data from [the operator’s] databases and re-utilising it” and “[the] databases are protected under the harmonised sui generis database right, as provided under Directive 96/9/EC: chapter III article 7 (1) and (2).”

For these seven cities, you can still see a historical snapshot from last Monday, when the feeds were switched off, but not the live status, historical animation or trend graphs.

This is despite a quick search on the web revealing a six-month collection of data for one of the schemes (at four minute intervals), the resulting trends being shown at a conference; a better-service campaign website, again for one of the schemes, with regularly updated performance tables; and an iPhone app pulling in the data from numerous schemes run by the operator, amongst others.

Digital Urban also mentioned this in the context of Bike-o-Meter, which uses the aggregated data from my Bike Share maps.

Now for the good news – I’ve added in five more cities – Rennes, Bordeaux, Zaragoza, Mexico City and Rio de Janerio. Yay! The inclusion of Mexico City and Rio should hopefully counter some claims of an European/English-speaking bias! Mexico City’s scheme appears to be concentrated in one very affluent district of the metropolis, while Rio’s is based on the seafront south of the city, rather than in the main urban area.

Rennes is a particularly interesting example, more about that shortly.

[Update – turns out I’m not the first.]

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