Tagged: DC

Columbia Heights isn’t normally known as a hot spot for drag queens, but once a year The Wonderland Ballroom floods the streets with guys in dresses. This year’s Sundress Party closed down Kenyon St with a portable stage outside the patio. Here are some photos from the event.

2014 Wonderland Sundress Party
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2014 Wonderland Sundress Party

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…

Four Metro stations are scheduled to get solicitations for redevelopment this year, as reported by the Washington Business Journal. I used my Metro Places app to take a look at how much transit-oriented development they currently have. The app works by querying the Google Places API to discover businesses within a certain range of Metro stations. I used it to search for gyms, banks, clothing stores, and grocery stores within a radius of 1,000 meters, as a sample of what might be available. The four stations are Forest Glen, West Hyattsville, Braddock Road, and Largo Town Center.

Forest Glen and West Hyattsville are somewhat near each other, albeit in separate counties. The heat map below shows Forest Glen has less nearby development then its neighboring stations. West Hyattsville appears on the edge of an area shared with Prince George’s Plaza, but could benefit from places closer to the station.


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It used to be Valentine’s meant heart-shaped boxes filled with chocolates, but nowadays it means people running through the streets in red and pink underwear. Cupid’s Undie Run is a brilliant fundraising event that supports the Children’s Tumor Foundation while also making Capitol Hill a much more interesting place.

Here are the best shots from the 2014 Cupid’s Undie Run in Washington, DC:

2014 Cupid's Undie Run
Arriving via Capital Bikeshare
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Fundraising Their Pants Off

If you’re a total transit nerd, this will be exciting. To prepare for a bus-themed event for the Transportation Techies meetup group, we’re making public APC data sets. That’s automated passenger counter; electronic devices that measure people boarding and alighting. We’re sharing it in hopes that local programmers will use it to create visualizations of how people use the bus.

2013-09 Raw Stop Data.xlsx is from Arlington Transit. It has 12 columns and 20,460 rows (1.2MB). The data is for weekdays in September 2013. I’ve created a CSV version, 2013-09 Raw Stop Data.csv. Here’s what 3 sample rows looks like: » Continue Reading…

Force Diagram of WMATA Metro StationsWhat is the minimum information you need when planning a trip on the Metro system? If all you want to see is which stations are connected, the Force Diagram of WMATA Metro Stations is the Metro map for you.

This visualization was designed using the JavaScript library D3, which includes the Force Layout design. I was inspired to do a version for Washington, DC after seeing Muyueh Lee‘s visualization of the Taipei MRT system. You can click-and-drag stations to try to reposition them. The layout pays no attention to the geographic locations of the stations. The distribution starts off as a random mess, and then coalesces into positions based on simulating physical properties of the links between stations. This is an even-more-severe rendering than my isochronal Metro Distortion Map.

The code is relatively compact, and customizing it was a good way for me to learn D3. That’s the same tool I used to create the Voronoi Diagram of CaBi Stations and the interactive bar chart I used for Looking Back at 2013 CaBi Data.

A Bare-Minimum Metro Map

Hundreds of Santas made their annual pilgrimage to the National Mall for Santarchy 2013. A goofy rite of Christmas, people dressed up as Santa Clause or an elf or related Christmas characters. Here are a few photos:


James Bond Santa
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The More the Jollier

A Summer breeze blew through Town last weekend, as twisted variety show Crack returned with its “Trip” show. The drama started with our hostess Summer Camp being told by her proctologist that she has only 90 minutes to live. Determined to live life to the fullest, she buys a round-the-world ticket, resulting in an international array of performances. Crack is really just an excuse for folks to get together with that “let’s put on a show” attitude. At its best it’s home-made and silly, and at its worst, it’s even better. Here are just a few photos from the show.


Summer Camp
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Around the World in 90 Minutes

Protesters came to Washington, DC to show support for reigning in the abuses by the National Security Agency. On October 26, the Stop Watching Us rally against mass surveillance was held outside the Capitol. A coalition of groups called the NSA surveillance apparatus “a stunning abuse of our basic rights.” Speakers included security expert Bruce Schneier and Congressman Justin Amash. Photos below.

The Stop Watching Us rally
NSA: Hands Off Our Data
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Protesting Government Spying Abuses

Drag queens have gone mainstream. What was once a small event in a gay neighborhood has transformed into an annual mass-media spectacle. The High Heel Race is the signature event of the Dupont Circle neighborhood, and now attracts people from all over the city. Here are a few of the photos from the event:

2013 High Heel Race
Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd
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Drag Invasion of Dupont Circle