This mesmerizing animation is created by visualisation specialist Jo Wood at City University in London. He based it on data from the first 5 million journeys pedalled in the Barclays Cycle Hire scheme since its launch in July 2010.
“[Visual analytics] allow transport planners and organisations such as Transport for London to make better informed decisions to support the movement of people around our cities,” says Wood. The next level, says Huddart, is to add anonymised user profiles to the data. This would give more information about people’s use of the bicycles over time, which could lead to better placement of new docking stations and help balance load across the network, says Jo.
“Around the 1-minute mark, structure emerges from the chaos and three major systems become clear: routes around, and through, the lozenge-shaped Hyde Park in the west, and commutes in and out of King’s Cross St Pancras in the north and between Waterloo and the City in the east. In the animation, the curve of a route indicates the most frequent direction of travel: trajectories leave a station in a straight line and then hook into their destination. We can see that more people cycle to King’s Cross, for example, than from it. Similarly, more people cycle from Waterloo – typically to destinations around the City – than towards it. It’s not yet clear why this is”. says collaborator Andrew Huddart, also at City University.