Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Replaying real-time bus data

A while back, the MBTA released a few days worth of high-quality, real-time bus tracking information as part of a "data contest." The contest is over but the data is still available. So, for fun, I've created a new visualization of the data: a "replay" of a day's worth of real-time data for the 57/57A buses.

Screenshot of the "replay" animation
Each triangle shows the motion of an individual bus. They are colored arbitrarily to help distinguish one from another. The red circles pop up when a stop request is pressed, and the blue circles pop up where the bus opens its doors. You can rewind, pause, or fast-forward through the day, from 5 in the morning until 2 at night.

The positions are all based on real-time GPS data, so you can watch as the schedules break down due to bunching, observe buses slowing down due to heavy traffic, or see a single bus laying over multiple times. Although the rest of the data is also available, I decided to stick with just one route for now, to keep things simple.

You can see it by clicking on this link.

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