Monday, February 21, 2011

Hike to the Bike

What does a bike-sharing trip look like? Well there are many home videos out there showing the first bike-sharing ride in Paris, Denver, or Montréal. There are educational videos showing safety while bike-sharing. There are also videos of dare-devil rodeo stunts on these transportation workhorses. However, one of the most fascinating is this amazing animation video from Dr. Martin Austwick at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis - University College London (CASA). His video shows what thousands of bike-sharing trips look like in one day when the London Tube was on strike. Folks bailed the rail and hiked to the bike.

This video was made possible by the collaborative work of Oliver O’Brien (his blog at Suprageography) also at CASA, who mapped the routes from station to station. In this video, a bike picked up flashes red, then leaves a Barclays Cycle Hire Blue trail as it goes, and flashes yellow when returned. The information to make this video came from Transport of London after one million trips were made on the system.

Using this same information of all these bike-sharing trips from July to November in London, interactive “spider maps” of bike movement from dock to dock are now available. With O’Brien’s spectral London Bike Flow Map, each day’s trips from each station can be seen. David Quinn, (QUA, from MIT), created a Trip Frequency Map that shows a value for the amount of bikes that move from one station to another.

When data on bike-sharing is made available, it becomes a very good tool in determining the best way to structure services to serve the public with personal mobility. There are more videos on bike-sharing services from around the world on the Bike-sharing Video Pages. There are also more CASA visualizations available on the Bike-sharing Metrics Page.

Co-authors Paul DeMaio and Russell Meddin

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