Making Passenger

A day in the life of bus tracking data

In our inherently visual world, images speak louder than words. Distilling buses’ live location data into beautifully animated heatmaps.

5th Feb 2021

Seeing information visually helps to understand its impact. Because at Passenger, the data we work with always comes back to people, the picture is a fascinating window into how, where and when human travel takes place.

We‘ve produced animated heatmaps showing the movement of the buses we receive AVL data from. These are not just extraordinarily fun pieces of data visualization but an example of the amount of information that comes through Passenger Cloud from our operator customers and partner integrations.

We wanted to share the story of a day in the lives of our buses in a way that allows the pattern of routes and the rhythm of the frequencies, even during a pandemic lockdown, to jump out at you.

Passenger Engineer Ryan Howell, who worked on the time-lapses describes the project, “Much of the data we work with every day isn’t visualised as a whole. In the products we create we are often only using a small segment, so it’s great to work on something that shows the sheer scale of the data. It has been fun being able to show new members of the team the direct impact of the work they are already involved in across the UK, in a really powerful way.”

The visualisations take a huge amount of information and make it easily and very quickly digestible.

“Sharing these helps with understanding too. If I say “SIRI-VM” to a random person on the street they would be confused, but showing them these videos, they understand enough to immediately see why the feed is useful – to end-users, operators, network planners, city planners – so many people” explains Passenger Engineer Ryan Howell.

A day of movement for our Premium (pink) and myTrip (yellow) operators.

You can see the series of maps created for our Premium operators via our @Passengerteam Twitter feed and a UK-wide map displaying a day of movement for all our Premium (pink) and myTrip (yellow) operators.

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