Another MBTA visualization, this time with the commuter rail

I put together an animation of all the rail traffic in the course of a day on the MBTA’s red, blue, green and orange lines. Its a great way to see just how complicated the system is that takes me to work every day, and perhaps be a little more patient next time things go wrong in the sy
I’d thought about doing this before, but it would have taken screen scraping schedule information off the site. I learned recently through a developer outreach that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation is running that the MBTA had released their schedule information in the Google transit feed specification (GTFS). With the data in hand, I went to work using the ruby-processing wrapper of the excellent Processing graphics toolkit.
I put together an animation of all the rail traffic in the course of a day on the MBTA’s red, blue, green and orange lines, including the Matapan . Its a great way to see just how complicated the system is that takes me to work every day, and perhaps be a little more patient next time things go wrong in the system!

The current version of the animation assumes stop take no time (as does the scheduling data).

I’d thought about doing this before, but it would have taken screen scraping schedule information off the site. I learned recently through a developer outreach that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation is running that the MBTA had released their schedule information in the Google transit feed specification (GTFS). With the data in hand, I went to work using the ruby-processing wrapper of the excellent Processing graphics toolkit.

I put together an animation of all the rail traffic in the course of a day on the MBTA’s red, blue, green and orange lines, including the Mattapan line. Its a great way to see just how complicated the system is that takes me to work every day, and perhaps be a little more patient next time things go less than perfect!

The current version of the animation assumes stop take no time (as does the scheduling data).

I’d thought about doing this before, but it would have taken screen scraping schedule information off the site. I learned recently through a developer outreach that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation is running that the MBTA had released their schedule information in the Google transit feed specification (GTFS). With the data in hand, I went to work using the ruby-processing wrapper of the excellent Processing graphics toolkit.

I put together an animation of all the rail traffic in the course of a day on the MBTA’s red, blue, green and orange lines, including the Mattapan line. Its a great way to see just how complicated the system is that takes me to work every day, and perhaps be a little more patient next time things go less than perfect!

The current version of the animation assumes stop take no time (as does the scheduling data).

I’d thought about doing this before, but it would have taken screen scraping schedule information off the site. I learned recently through a developer outreach that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation is running that the MBTA had released their schedule information in the Google transit feed specification (GTFS). With the data in hand, I went to work using the ruby-processing wrapper of the excellent Processing graphics toolkit.

Following up the surprising success of my first MBTA visualization, I made a new version that adds the commuter rail lines. This does have the unfortunate effect of squishing the system’s rapid transit lines because I’m not distorting the distances in any way. I also reduced the size of the markers, perhaps too small for viewing at youtube resolution unless viewed at full screen.

Also, for Frank and Elias, I made the length of the video shorter, enlarged the numbers, and added a little visualization showing active trips sampled at 5-minute intervals with a you are here indicator to give viewers perspective on how busy the system is at that moment relative to the whole day.

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