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5 million bikeshare trips, visualized

Posting in Cities

London's bikeshare system is extremely popular. Since its launch at the end of 2010, the bikes have been rented out more than 16 million times.

That's a lot of bike rides, but it also means there's a lot of data about those trips. Fortunately, there's Jo Wood from City University in London. He took data from the first 5 million trips on Barclays Cycle Hire bikes and created a hypnotizing visualization.

In the video below, put together by New Scientist, you can see the system's chaotic beginnings as people get used to it. Eventually the picture begins to crystallize and we see which stations have become the most popular.

The visualization doesn't just look cool, it's actually a helpful tool for transportation planners, as Wood explains to New Scientist:

"[Visual analytics] allow transport planners and organisations such as Transport for London to make better informed decisions to support the movement of people around our cities," says Wood. The next level, says Huddart, is to add anonymised user profiles to the data. This would give more information about people's use of the bicycles over time, which could lead to better placement of new docking stations and help balance load across the network, he says.

[Via New Scientist]

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— By on September 26, 2012, 1:17 AM PST

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure