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Tag "traffic"

Pedro M Cruz has updated his work on the Lisboa traffic visualisation. His earlier visualisation, part of his Master Thesis, featured here and on many other blogs back in April 2010.

The visualisations are built in processing using different models. The data represented traffic on the roads of Lisbon recorded over the period of one month.

About his new version Cruz sais: “the traffic of Lisbon is portrayed exploring metaphors of living organisms with circulatory problems. Rather than being an aesthetic essay or a set of decorative artifacts, my approach focuses on synthesizing and conveying meaning through data portrayal”.

His new attempt is clearly chalenging to some extend slowly settling standards in the field of visualisation. Those being the attempt to visualise everything as is and as much of it as possible. Traditional techniques of abstraction, simplification or focus, what ever you would like to call it, are ignored and rendered away using sheer computing power.

The system used here is developed having some rough biology concepts in mind, images of blood vessels. Cruze explains: “the thickness, the color and the length of the vessels are excited by the number of vehicles and average velocity in each road”.

Lisboa Bood Vessels
Image taken from mondeguinho.com / The road network of Lisbon was queried from OpenSreetMap, parsed and filtered. Using this information, a spring based physics system is build for the road network and a filling structure of each vessel. The data is overlaid on the resultant structure to determine the road where each vehicle is at a given moment. This allows to inject data at runtime and excite the system.

This has a dramatic effect for the representation of the geometry and alters the appearance of the whole system. Nevertheless since the visualisation is reduced to the road as the single feature this is not producing any complication, on the contrary the system starts to become readable.

Especially interesting in this visualisation is the built in time-distance representation. The basic idea of that if a connection is fast it is short and if it is slow it becomes longer. This is as if saying time = distance (length). This is of course a very abstract and dangerous thing to propose, but in this case it produces some interesting results, since one all of a sudden is reading a visualisation roughly to its location in regards of how long it takes. As Cruz points out his is connecting the local and the global features of this representation and in this sense take it a step forward. Details on his blog.

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In the serie on cycle disruption here is a new one on the latest tube strike in London today. It is the first morning into the tube strike and chaos is rolling into the city. Some earlier posts on the subject in the past can be found HERE (following the disruption), HERE (disruption second take) and HERE (every year). There are only very few tube line actually running a service, Northern Line being one of them. However this might not mean that you can get a train on this line and it aso does not mean you will arrive at the desired destination as many stations along the line are closed.

For the latest updates on the open stations please see the official TFL website.

Image taken from the BBC London Tube Strike Map – September 2010 / a platform for crowd sourced real time travel information.

But even there you might not get the most up to date information. If you put more trust in real time crown sourced information you can go to the BBC test mashup-crownsource-tubestrike-map and click around for infos on our local area.

There are a number of ways you can participate: a) Sending an email to londontravel@bbc.co.uk, b) Sending a text to 81333 starting your message LONDON STRIKE, c) Sending a tweet with the hashtag #tubestrike, d) Uploading an audioboo with the hashtag #tubestrike or directly to the BBC London stream, e) Filling in the form on the site

new TWTR.Widget({
version: 2,
type: ‘search’,
search: ‘#tubestrike’,
interval: 6000,
title: ‘Tube Strike September 2010’,
subject: ‘Live update’,
width: 580,
height: 460,
theme: {
shell: {
background: ‘#8ec1da’,
color: ‘#ffffff’
tweets: {
background: ‘#ffffff’,
color: ‘#444444’,
links: ‘#1985b5’
features: {
scrollbar: false,
loop: true,
live: true,
hashtags: true,
timestamp: true,
avatars: true,
toptweets: true,
behavior: ‘default’

The page is set up to log incidents over a longer period of time. The timeline is set for a whole year. There is even a play back feature integrated that wil replay the information logged and can potentially visualised the ebb and flows of the system. Currently there seems only data available from today so no point replaying it, but in a month time this might be very interesting already. The project could grow into a valuable alternative to the official information.

Reports are logged on the site and can be accessed. In this sense everyone has access to the source data and can verify the accuracy of the information. This a note in the light of the recent discussion about the validation of the crowd sourced data at the CRESC conference in Oxford. Making the data available is one way of dealing with this issue. However if the amount of data grow too large, and hopefully it will in the case of crowd sourced real time transport information, it becomes impossible for individuals to crawl through the mountain of snippets and verify individual pieces.

Image taken from the Oliver O’Brien’s cycle hire visualisation / London Cycle Hire Dock Status Map taken on Tuesday 07th September 2010 09h30.

Since there is little progress to be made today on public trasport the London Cycle Hire scheme would be a perfect alternative. A quick look at the viualisation map over at Oiver O’Brien’s page draws a rather pessimistic picture. The scheme has sort of come to a lock down too with all bikes being parked in the centre and empty station in zone two. People who have planned ahead managed to grab one this morning and traveled in by bike. There will be the big run this afternoon to catch one of the central bikes to ride it back out again to avoid the long queues at the crowded bus stop.

On twitter the tube strike is a big topic with alo Steven Fry taking to it linking this 2006 clip on frustrated commuters and the perceived incapability of TFL to meet their needs. This is linked without comment, this discussion is too complicated and personal. I believe, from past experience, the staff working today are doing quite a good job given the extend of the shutdown.

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More and more location data becomes available and makes it possible to visualise the beat of the city over longer periods and/or compressed as a speed up sequence.

Eric Fischer has recently published online a few mappings of online available location data. Most popular were the flickr maps of world cities. This time it is bus movement data through which he visualises San Francisco. The data was collected of the period of one month.

Clip by Eric Fischer / Overlay of Muni vehicle movements for all of June, 2010.
Thanks to Matt for the link via flowingdata.

Visualisation of public transport vehicles in Vienna, Austria put together by Max Kossa on wissenbelasted.com . It is built from a database containing 1048 stops along 44 bus lines, 18 night bus lines and 29 tram lines. Within 24 hours there are some 510.026 total stops for all vehicles.

The different vehicle types are coded in colour. Green are the night buses. This is quite obvious at 01:30. At this time the regular service shuts down and the blue (tram) and red (bus) dots vanish for the rest of the night.

The author has published the scraped data base file for download if you want to have a play.

Clip by Max Kossa /24 hours in the life of the public transport network of Vienna.

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For his Masters Thesis, Pedro Cruz has developed a visualisation of Lisbon traffic. It represents 24 hours in the capital of Portugal.
The data is derived from 1534 vehicles recorded over one month. All the records are then put into a 24 hour stack.
The colours represent the speed of the traffic with green being fast and orange/red being slower. The main roads to bring traffic through the city with a higher speed show up in green where as the local roads beautifully draw the tight network in between.

Image by Pedro Cruz / Vehicule traffic in Lisbon on a Friday, visulisation inspired by Aron Koblins’s flight patterns.

The visualisations are built in processing and Cruz experimented with a number of different typs, each emphasising a different aspect. He eventually settled for one that is combining the speed as well as the focus on the main road. I am not sure however what the trailings/diagonals, between points actually mean. Guess it could be were the tracking signal was ost, but that seems a bit too geometrical for this. On the other hand as an area it also doesn’t make too much sense. Cruz describes it as a visual thing.
Interestingly the speed on the local roads seems to be fairly constant, were as the speed on the main roads seems to slow down at night. This is surprising, since one would think that during the day there is more traffic and drivers would naturally slow down or even get slowed down by clunked up roads. on the other hand, at night there is more room on these roads and drivers would go faster and race around the city.
However this is great visualisation work. For more such visualisation visit Cruz’s blog or his vimeo channel.

Found via Datavisulisation.ch .

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Once more a nice timelapse for the approaching weekend. I think the title of the clip actually is a bit misleading, or a t least it unveils to much of the detail about making it. However the coours and the blending in is really nice and makes you wana go to Liverpool street for a lunch break.

Lunch-Time-Lapse Thursday 09-04-09 from Ace Renegade on Vimeo.

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A new application is available for the iPhone and other mobile devices that provides traffic information (mainly aiming at individual car traffic) and at the same time records traffic conditions to update the information.
This commercial application is called WAZE and is at the moment only available in the states and Israel it seems. It is developed by Ehud Shabtai, Uri Levine and Amir Shinar. It is one of the first truly crowed sourced applications. The user data from GPS will automatically generate a live map. If the user moves slowly it will show as a red trail on the road and others can see that there might be a traffic jam. In addition users can also upload detailed information such a speed cam or accident and even record additional roads that do not yet appear on the map. A guided tour with comments can be found here. The WAZE fan page on facebook is here.

There are two questions that I allow to ask. One is the obvious question of how to verify the user generated data. Who can be trusted and who might just play whit he application. For example if I would be using it (I don’t own a car) and log data while walking there would be red roads where ever I go. So is there some sort of filtering and overriding feature built into the automatic live mapping?
The second question is one that I already ask myself while reading about the MIT user and especially mobile phone focused research in Carlo Ratti’s SENSABLECity team were they also claim for products that help individual car drivers to find better ways through the cit. Why would we want to develop and use something as old fashioned a this? Individual car traffic so 1920. And in this century still being trapped in this discussion about being fast and powerful and independent and so on is a bit sad actually. I don’t believe this can provide us with a global solution and is just another attempt to strengthen individual needs in a struggling urban environment.
But in this case a technologically advanced cool gadget for the cool gadget you already own so why not using it!

The MIT project is a bit older and called CarTel. It is a bit more complicated but essentially works the same way. The iPhone and Android option obviously is pretty hot. The graphic is a bit too playful and child like for my test and could be a tick more formal ad serious but there you go.

Image from WAZW.com – live map

Thanks to gisagents

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The tube strike in London did go ahead and is in action since yesterday 19h00. Operation on all tube lines is disrupted. But actually some lines have a service.
What a surprise the Northern Line has a good service since morning. It was the first line to be open, but during the morning other lines opened.
Staff at Euston kept a map to inform passengers what service is available. At around 10h15 already a number of lines operate a very delayed and interrupted service.

Image by UrbanTick

The clip starts in Tufnell Park where little is to see from the strike impact, as the Northern Line is in good service. Only buses coming down towards Kentish Town are jammed. There are obviously a lot of commuters on the bus who usually take the tube. At each stop a number of people ask the driver for advice and information on where the bus goes and how to get to certain places. On a normal day on the bus, hardly anyone speaks to the driver.
Same at Mornington Crescent, tube station is open and not busy. Towards Euston it gets busier and a lot of people are walking down the street, as road is jammed with buses. Euston runs a taxi service with a special taxi marshal, and the queue reaches through the big entrance hall.
Other tube stations are deserted and ticket offices closed.

UTtubeStrike_090610_HD from urbanTick on Vimeo.
music from mp3 unsigned by
Andrew Bowsher & The Sceptics (Experimental)
A man at one with his bedroom

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A visualization of world wide air traffic over a 24 hour period.
Amazing, how all these yellow dots swirl over the world map. The expected hotspots, the states and Europe as destinations show up. Although one would expect that we live in a 24 hour society especially regarding air traffic, the day night rhythm directs the number of flights. Flight activities pick up in the early morning hours ad dies out in the late night hours.
At the beginning one can observe how the flight traffic in the states slowly calms down and at the same time with the rise of the morning in Europe the number of flights picks up, enjoy!

The animation was produced to be shown on the high definition 3D-Globe “Orbitarium” in Technorama – The Swiss Science Center in collaboration with Institute of Applied Information Technology InIT, Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Winterthur. The data used is from 2008.
There is plenty of versions of this animation another one on vimeo.

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