TrIP AiR: GTFS Visualization by Nathan Selikoff

At the end of my last post, I mentioned a bunch of tech-y stuff that I want to elaborate on a bit now. First, some definitions for the non-geek readers:

GTFS: General Transit Feed Specification – created by Google to standardize how public transportation schedules and associated geographic information is represented. Read more

GitHub: A website that helps programmers easily collaborate on source code – particularly popular for open source projects (i.e. code that doesn’t have very many copyright or usage restrictions). Read more

Fork: What you do when you find a project on GitHub (a repository, or repo for short) and want to make changes to it. When you “fork a repo”, you basically copy it into your own account. This works well with open source projects especially. Read more

I’m really interested in what people are doing to visualize public transportation systems. My recent Local Notebooks project, grown in part out of my experiences with TrIP, is one of my own takes on visualizing public transit:


As I’ve been researching other people’s visualizations, I’ve come across a lot of really cool projects. One in particular that I like is GTFS Visualizations by Michael Mueller, a “techno-creative enthusiast and Computer Science student” at the University of Ulm in Germany. Check out his project website to see the images that his code created for Madrid, Miami, San Diego, Ulm, Washington DC, LA, and San Francisco.

Back to that tech lingo above… I forked Michael’s repo on GitHub and modified it to include the GTFS data for LYNX, and rendered out the same GTFS visualization style for Orlando:


Here’s another view of the same data, with the colors modified to expand the dynamic range. Darker red routes are traveled less often, and as you move through to bright red and then yellow, you see the routes that are traveled more frequently:



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