Visualising Biking

This morning I opened up my email to find the December 2010 World Carfree Newsletter.  The World Carfree Network is a global organization promoting alternative transportation advocating for quality of life improvements for all.  Every month, they send out a newsletter that is chock-full of news from around the world relating to the “carfree movement” – moving towards more mixed use, denser environments that de-emphasize the private automobile and encourage bicycling, walking, and public transit use. This morning I clicked a link that led me to the Slideshare presentation embedded below.  The presentation itself it somewhat dry, but it contains a wealth of information and links regarding some really amazing bike share data visualization projects.  I wanted to share a few of the highlights here.

First, the Bike-o-Meter.  This project comes out of the University College of London’s Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis.  It’s beauty is really in its simplicity – it takes data from bike share systems in 16 world cities and displays the current percentage of the fleet that is currently in use, along with the local time in that city.  The point-in-time snapshot may not be that useful (time trend data is available here), but still it is interesting and can provide some insight.  For instance, at 7:38 AM on a Saturday morning, 50 percent of the bikes in Rio de Janeiro are checked out; in Montreal it’s close to 60 percent!

The second one to call out is the Bike Share Map.  This app overlays bike availability data on a map of a city (London is the default).  Twenty-one cities are available.  I can imagine a 24-hour capture of this visualization being really useful for the bike share companies who are responsible for bike redistribution throughout the day.

More projects are available here and here.  Enjoy!

-Terra Curtis