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Posted by on Feb 2, 2011 in London, Visualisation | 0 comments

Brilliant Boris Bikes Animation

Brilliant Boris Bikes Animation

Some of us at CASA can’t get enough of the Barclay’s Cycle Hire data. We have had Ollie‘s hugely successful flow maps, journey time heat maps, and now the the Sociable Physicist himself, Martin Austwick has created this stunning animation of the bikes. The TFL data release contained the start point, end point, and duration for around 1.4 million bike journeys. An educated guess has been made about routes between stations using OpenStreetMap data and some routing software. The animation shows the scheme’s busiest day (thanks to a tube strike) and provides an amazing insight into the dynamics of Boris Bike users. You can find more info here. I suspect this animation will be another big PR win for TFL, it is just a shame that it took a freedom of information request to get the underlying data. Martin’s viz is one of my favourites but there have been a couple of others released that use similar technologies to show urban transport systems. Chris McDowall has produced an animation on a much...

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Posted by on Sep 30, 2010 in Resources, Visualisation | 0 comments

A look at visualizing.org

A look at visualizing.org

Visualizing.org is a great website that has recently been launched. It aims to be a community of creative people working to simplify complex issues through data and design. People can freely upload data and visualizations and all are freely usable under the creative commons non-commercial share alike license. It is especially easy to download the visualizations or embed them in a blog/ website. I have had a look at the current visualizations and included them in this post. There are plenty more on the website and I hope community grows over the coming...

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Posted by on Dec 5, 2009 in Featured Maps, Visualisation | 6 comments

UK Carbon Emissions

UK Carbon Emissions

I read recently this article on the BBC News website. I thought the map they used (below) to show the areas of Britain with the largest domestic carbon footprints was a little uninspiring. The colour scale was unclear with no explanation as to why the numbers jump around (the interval changes from 1 to 2) and appears to, for example, ignore the values that fall between 24 to 26 tonnes per household. Southern England is too red in the sense that it is hard to distinguish between areas with the highest emissions. I also feel that a more useful variable to plot is whether areas are increasing or decreasing their domestic carbon emissions. I understand why people are keen to highlight, for example, that David Cameron’s constituency is one of the top 40 most polluting, but it presents a static picture. It may be that he has heavily invested in household energy efficiency programs and dramatically reduced emissions compared to a few years ago- equally the constituency’s emissions could...

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Posted by on Sep 10, 2009 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

A Good Example of Misleading Visualization

A Good Example of Misleading Visualization

I recently attended the “Summer School in Practical Survey Analysis” hosted by Oxford Unversity’s Department of Sociology. One session was devoted to examples of good data visualization. The example used to demonstrate a good map is shown immediately below and is taken from this page on the Office for National Statistics website. Many of us felt it would actually serve as an example of poor visualization for reasons that I think are worth mentioning here. Aside from the fact that it is missing a North Arrow and Scale, the map is misleading. The highest category represents areas where between 6.4% to 60.6% of the population are non-white. This range of values grouped together is too large in this context. Additional categories in the data would highlight the exceptional areas and prevent areas with a population of only 7% non-white, for example, being grouped with areas characterised by a population that is over 60% non-white.  In addition the spatial units (Administrative Districts) used to plot the data are too course....

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