Tagged: biking

bikesI love animating bikesharing systems, but without GPS data it looks like people travel in straight lines, from bike-out to bike-in. So to get a better idea of how cyclists really travel across the city, I wanted to investigate mapping multiple GPS tracks.

The first step is finding data. Strava has a huge repository of bike data, but you can’t access a trips’s GPS data unless you are connected to that person, or if they otherwise grant you access. And even then when you download the GPS data the GPX file doesn’t include timestamps. You can get an idea of the potential of Strava’s data from this “Beautiful Weekend” video made by BikeArlington using VeloViewer.

I decided to try to collect my own GPS data by asking a local monthly bike ride, the DC Bike Party, to record their outing and send me the data. Their April ride attracted 650 riders, but I got only 5 responses, and one of those I had to reject for not having timestamps. But four cyclists is good enough for an experiment to learn more about the process.

The next step was data munging. One participant sent me two separate GPX files, for before and after the break at the bar. It was easy enough to merge them by taking the trkpt tags from one file’s trkseg section and adding them to the other file’s trkseg section. Another participant’s GPX file wasn’t syncing up with the others. To correct it, I just manually edited the timestamps using a global search & replace for the hour field. » Continue Reading…

Arlington Bike Counts, Activity MapperArlington has a collection of automated trail counters which can distinguish between pedestrians and bikes, and can also record the direction of travel. This data is transmitted live to a database, managed with Eco Counter software. I recently got access to the data and was able to experiment with how to visualize it. I decided to add it as a dataset to my new Activity Mapper, which lets you animate and interact with a chronological and geographical data set.

For each coordinate, Activity Mapper lets you compare two numbers. For Metro it was entrances and exits at each station. For Capital Bikeshare it was bikeins and bikeouts at each station, and grew to include datasets comparing casual riders to registered riders, and trips that fell within or beyond the 30-min time limit. For my first look at Arlington’s trail counters, I chose to look at the past year of bike traffic (excluding pedestrian traffic), broken down into 365 days. The two data sets compare “trips in” to “trips out,” refering to the direction of the bike. Unfortunately, this version does not yet indicate the direction in the display. » Continue Reading…

I joined Arlington, Virginia families for my first-ever kidical mass. October’s ride had a Halloween theme, so the kids dressed up, and we biked down Jackson St, a road in the Ashton Heights neighborhood that is known for several haunted houses. Here are a few photos from the bike ride:

Halloween 2013 Arlington Kidical Mass
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A Spooky Bike Ride for Kids

The Armed Forces Retirement Home offers an unlikely setting for an annual bike race. The DCCX Cyclocross Race attracts hundreds of cyclists came from all over the East Coast to Washington, DC. The race was almost cancelled due to the October government shutdown. The sprawling course included dirt hills, steps, and other obstacles. Spectators got to sit in the middle of the action, with surprise appearances by drummers and later a mariachi band. Here are photos from the event:

2013 DCCX
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2013 DCCX Cyclocross Race

A bike race in a parking garage? That’s the annual Diamond Derby. An office building in Crystal City was cleared of cars and turned into an obstacle course for cyclists. Bales of hay were piled in the middle of the course, giving the contestants a chance to prove how quickly they can dismount their bikes, clear the haystacks, and get back on course. Many of the cyclists dressed up for the occasion in fun costumes, as you can see in these photos:


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bixiHow did you celebrate International Open Data Day? Bixi Montreal contributed by releasing a summary of data for a single day, at dataholic.ca/odd/bixiday.xlsx. This is the first time the public has gotten access to their data. I added them to my collection, and can now offer the Bixi Montreal Trip Visualizer.

Their data included two matrices of station-to-station trip totals, for the AM and the PM. To simplify the data, my visualizer combines the two. I hope to add a feature later on to differentiate between the two data sets. I do not know which day the data is from.

Montreal has 410 bikesharing stations, making it one of the largest systems in the world. By comparison, Capital Bikeshare in the DC metropolitan area has 199 stations, and is the largest in the USA (until New York City’s system makes its debut). Montreal was the first city to use the Bixi system, starting in May 2009. Bixi now provides bikesharing facilities for 10 cities, including the other 3 that I’ve done trip visualizers for: Washington, DC, Boston, and Minneapolis-St Paul. » Continue Reading…

arlingtonArlington County has released its own set of bicycle accident data. There were 227 incidents recorded from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2012 (though the first recorded accident wasn’t until March 1, 2010). That’s 6.3 reported incidents a month. I’ve made a map for them, the Arlington Bicycle Accidents Stat Mapper. It’s the same program as the DC Bicycle Accidents Stat Mapper.

I did not combine the two jurisdictions because the date ranges are different, and because the data formats were different.

Arlington’s map has 174 locations. The spot with the most accidents was Lee Highway at Fort Myer Dr, with 8 accidents recorded there. Clicking on a pin will show detailed information for all of the incidents at that location.

The source data has an “at” street and a “cross” street for each record. Some of them have a “landmark” field which is often used to describe the block number, and another field (3, actually, which I’ve combined) is sometimes used to describe the distance from the intersection. » Continue Reading…

Bicycle Counts Stat MapperLast June, DDOT and MWCOG counted bicycle traffic over an 8-hour period in 48 locations. I got a copy of the results, and converted the spreadsheet into a map. The Bicycle Counts Stat Mapper uses the same interface I created for the Bicycle Accidents Stat Mapper, but with a few new features added.

A total of 21,930 cyclists were counted. They also recorded the rider’s sex, whether they were on a sidewalk, whether they were wearing a helmet, and whether they were riding a Capital Bikeshare bike: 75% were male, 27% were on a sidewalk, 69% wore helmets, 5% were on CaBi.

The place with the most bike traffic was the 15th St cycle track, measured north of P St. It got just under 200 cyclists per hour (198.8 to be exact). Its busiest hour saw 355 cyclists go through. » Continue Reading…

statmapperWhen TheWashCycle blog reported on the Bicycle Crash Study 2010-2012, I was surprised to see the report didn’t include a map. So, I created a tool to view a map of the accident locations: the Stat Mapper.

I got a copy of the source data from DDOT. It covers January 6, 2010 to March 31, 2012. That period has 1,087 accidents in 744 locations. The report lists locations using text descriptions of the intersections. To convert into latitude & longitude coordinates for the map, I relied on Google’s geocoder. These results aren’t always accurate, especially if the text isn’t easily understood, like one accident that was recorded at “FBI:INTERSTATE 295” (the geocoder placed that at the center of the city, but I manually moved it to 3rd & E NW).

By default the map shows a pin at every accident location. When you hover over a pin the header will show the total number of accidents there, as well as the total number of fatalities and injuries, and the number of vehicles and bicycles involved. You can click on the pin to get a full listing of all the accidents at that spot. The darker the pin, the more accidents at that location. The spot with the most accidents, nine, was at 14th & U NW. » Continue Reading…

nicerideLet’s look at trip history data for the bike-sharing system in Minneapolis and St Paul. I’ve adapted the CaBi Trip Visualizer for Nice Ride Minnesota. They’ve released a seven-month chunk of data, covering April 4, 2012 to November 4, 2012. It was easy to adapt the program for their data. So, voilĂ : the Nice Ride Trip Visualizer.

Click on any station to see the stations that form the most station-pairs. Not being familiar with the Twin Cites, I wanted to see the entire system’s network. To do that, hit the “1” key to select all the stations visible on the map. I was surprised to see the most prominent station-pair spans the Mississippi River, from Kolthoff Hall to the Social Sciences building, both on the campus of the University of Minnesota. These trips must use the Washington Avenue Bridge. » Continue Reading…