Wednesday 25 July 2018

Visualising Bay Area Commutes with

A couple of months ago I saw on Twitter that Uber launched a new visualisation tool called Apart from the fact that it looked seriously amazing, it also looked very useful but I hadn't managed to have a play with it until this week, so here I am with some visuals and a few words.

I've already looked at commuting in the San Francisco Bay Area quite a bit in the past (including this in Wired) so I had the data already and when Bay Area urbanist Alex Schafran got in touch about this very topic a couple of days ago it prompted me to dust off my Bay Area commute data and have a play around. These are the results. 

If you want to have a play yourself, I've put the csv in a shared folder, alongside a ready-to-upload json, some images, and a bonus csv of commuting and image folder for England and Wales as well, which is good fun.

Each line connects two Census Tracts, which have a resident population of just over 4,000 people. 

Commutes to San Francisco (100+) coloured by origin county

Bay Area commutes (colour = destination county)

Commutes flows (50+) within Alameda County 

Commute flows (150+) within Alameda County

Same as above, but with a different base map

Bay Area commutes (100+), coloured by destination county

As above, but showing the Filter tools in

As above, but showing a tooltip for one flow line

Commute flows (50+) in Contra Costa County

Commutes to Santa Clara County (100+)

Commutes to San Francisco County (50+)

Commutes to San Francisco County (100+)

San Francisco to Santa Clara County commutes (all)

The final four images are just to show you the styles and settings I've used with the data, so that you can understand how it works a little better if you want to have a play around with it yourself.

You can see that lines are based on orig, dest x and y coords

I've applied a single filter here, but you can add more

These are the fields used in the tooltip - very useful

You can choose different base maps and turn layers on or off

That's all for now. Like I said, you can play around with this data if you want or even try the England and Wales dataset I created, which has some useful fields for filtering (e.g. local authority name, distance, flow volume).

Notes: Kepler? Presumably named for Johannes Kepler, the German mathematician. The Bay Area commute data includes commutes within and between the nine Bay Area counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma, and the City and County of San Francisco. The dataset is one I put together for another project, and comes from the American Community Survey. The England and Wales file is from the 2011 Census and includes all commutes of 25 people or more. I've found that you can't always export images from Chrome directly but it worked in Firefox. I haven't tried on Safari but I'm guessing image export works on that. Have a go yourself with the data I used to create the images above.