A Week in the Life of London’s Public Transit System

I’ve been meaning to post this for ages but have had a great deal on my plate (more posts and visualisations to follow in the next week I hope) so this has kept slipping, together with the six or seven other ‘draft’ posts I’ve got going.

Anyway, this visualisation shows average entries at each and every Underground, Overground, and DLR station over the course of a week using a 10-minute interval. So in theory there are some 300 * 7 * 24 * 6 data points in this image. Or 43,200 for those of you who, like me, are having difficulty with the mental arithmetic. Of course, I’ve deliberately gone for an artistic angle to this image so you’ll find nary a scale barnor a station label, but I hope that you enjoy puzzling out the approximate ordering within each group of lines.

The rest of the text (which is too fuzzy in the raster format) reads:

The poster shows every entry to each of London’s 330 Underground, Overground and Docklands Light Railway stations over the course of a week. Stations are coloured according to the lines that they serve. A station that serves more than one line will appear more than once on the poster. During rush hour, there may be more than 8,000 entries to a single station in just 10 minutes!

For those who are interested in the mechanics of how it was made: I pulled the aggregate data from a MySQL database, generated the base graph in Python (a big ‘thank you’ to @FryRSquared for that), and then resized the chart and added the text in Illustrator. So, with the exception of that last it’s not a bad day for Free/OS software!

Also, clearly a big ‘thank you’ too to Transport for London and, in particular, the Oyster card team who are making all of this fun work possible.

We hope to have two poster-sized versions available via print-on-demand in the not-too-distant future, so stay tuned!

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