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Published on June 18th, 2015 | by Cynthia Shahan


Continuous Public Transport Systems Moving On Active Maps

June 18th, 2015 by  

Thanks to a University of Freiburg (Germany) student, energetic maps of cities’ interdependent public transit movements, reflecting thousands of daily journeys, help us to better understand transit in these locations. The day-to-day involvement of urban trams, trains, buses, and trolleys are intricately displayed for each network.

Manhattan, New York


Dr. Hannah Bast from the University of Freiburg describes what her team engenders: “We make Applied Algorithmics.” So, not surprising that TRAVIC, Transit Visualization Client, integrates public data to create active maps of schedules, even including real-time information.

Penetrating the world of transport planning, the visual gives a vital grasp of the interdependent urban transit world. Constructed on General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) data, furnishing this data makes it possible for app developers to assimilate the information into apps.

The Age describes the visual experience: “It’s like removing a watch face and seeing the gears inside whirr. Or like watching blood pulse through a creature’s capillaries.”

Note that the GIF above and the ones below are just visualization recordings sped up several times. To actually see the live visualization of Manhattan, go here. To see more from the 255 feeds, go here, click where you want to visit, and then zoom in to get more and more details.

Melbourne, Australia

ViNrZBl (1)


The Age points out, regarding the above map: “The red, large dots represent trains, with the yellow dots trams and the tiny blue dots buses. You can see red trains running the city loop while buses (blue) and trams (yellow) ferry around commuters inside the grid.” Above reflects rush hour at 8:20 am. The map will considerably slow down late in the night, naturally.

Sandy Dechert, on Planetsave, reminds us that 70% of the world’s population don’t depend on cars (and a little more than 50% of Americans are carless… er, car-free). Dechert notes: “Over the years, the information giant [Google] has been pretty thoughtful in publishing transit information for those who don’t or can’t travel by car.” For more on that topic, see: Google Maps Covering World’s Public Transit Routes & Schedules.

Need to slow down between that ride to work or from work to home? Ecopreurist has found the app for you, This App Crowdsources a Map of Quiet Spaces in the City.

São Paulo, Brazil

Sao Paulo

Real-time visualization of São Paulo here. Again, zoom in to get more and more transit detail.

Related Stories:

Solar-Powered Tram Network Proposed In Melbourne (World’s Largest)

Choose Your Next Home With Car-Free US City Transit

A Marvelous Car-Free Experiment One Year Later

Water Buses — Could Maritime Complement To Buses & Trams Solve Traffic Congestion, Reduce Travel Time?

Google Maps Covering World’s Public Transit Routes & Schedules

Google Maps Creates Voice-Guided Navigation for Cyclists



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About the Author

Cynthia Shahan started writing after previously doing research and publishing work on natural birth practices. (Several unrelated publications) She is a licensed health care provider. She studied and practiced both Waldorf education, and Montessori education, mother of four unconditionally loving spirits, teachers, and environmentally conscious beings born with spiritual insights and ethics beyond this world. (She was able to advance more in this way led by her children.)

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