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Time of Day – The London Bike Hire Scheme

For only three weeks the London Bike Hire Scheme is in operation and so far it seem to be rather well received. The 6,000 Barclays (sponsor) bikes, which have arrived in London are parked at 315 stations dotted across the centre of the capital. An initial map is available through the TfL website.

It give basic infos such as no available bikes and no of available parking spaces. The scheme is based on the concept that people can hire a bike at one station, ride it through the city and park it at another. This means the bikes are in a constant rotation around the city. In this sense both these infors, no of bikes and no of parking spaces, are essential for the functioning and comfort of usage.

As a data source this has obviously inspired data and mapping enthusiasts from different London universities to, on one hand improve on the visualisation and on the other to start analysing the data.
One of the mashup maps is developed by Oliver O’Brien from CASA. The visualisation was already covered by the Londonist, the Telegraph and other blogs such as spatialanalysis.

Image taken from suprageography / Mashup map showing the status of each London Bike Scheme docking station. Yellow border line indicates a station as full, clicking on a dot reviles the bottom left usage graph over the past couple of hours.

It shows the parking locations as dots indicating with a red-blue colour scheme the status of the docking station. In real time one can follow how hundreds of bikes migrate through the city. This is obviously tightly linked to the routines of the bike users and as O’Brien note on the blog seems to be mainly determined by the working pattern. This suggests that a lot of working people in the city are actually switching and using the scheme already for everyday use.

In a graph based visualisation Aidan Slingsby form City University in London is working with the same data, focusing on the trend of usage per station. Each graph compares the current to the previous day.

Image taken from gicentre / Graph visualisation showing the status of each London Bike Scheme docking station. The list is ordered by distance from, as input in the right column.

In a timeLapse copmiled from screenshots O’Brien and Chechire show the dinamics in a 24 hour day of the London Bike Hire Scheme. Quite nice how the dots change the colour over time and viualise the daily migration.