Data Graphics Mashups

Boris Bikes – The Flows Are Coming

Adrian Short (@adrianshort) sent an FOI request for flow data for the first million journeys on the Barclays Cycle Hire bike shares in London (the “Boris Bikes”). TfL responded with a test dataset of the first 99 journeys -from roughly 6-7am on 30 July – and a promise that the data for the next 999,901 are coming!

I’m working on an adaptation of my bike share visualisation to show these flows. It’s not possible to show a million lines on the screen at the same time, so consolidation, selection and filtering will be applied, but it certainly is possible to show the first 100 – click on the graphic for a full-size image:

I’m using colour to indicate the direction of travel (see the wheel.) I’ve also shown the flows to a couple of specific docks:

I’ll build out the visualisation with the full data set and release it soon.

As start and end timings are included in the data, I’m sure it is only a matter of time before someone builds a version with little animated bikes moving from the stations into the city during the rush-hour, similar to Matthew Somerville’s excellent real-time tube visualisation, for which the underlying data unfortunately got pulled.

3 replies on “Boris Bikes – The Flows Are Coming”

That’s great TfL are going to release the flow data Ollie. It would be possible to use the timings with network analysis to produce an accurate accessibility map of bike speeds in Central London.

I’ve been working on similar visualisation challenges with the commuting flow data, so good to discuss this week.

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