Tagged: maps

Metro PlacesWhat would the Washington, DC region look like if you never went further than 500 meters from a Metro station? Well, there’s an app for that! I was inspired by a car-free friend who pointed out the difficulty of finding a Metro-accessible dentist when moving to DC. So, let’s put the Internet to work to make that simpler.

I used the Places Library of the Google Maps API to discover dentist locations for a geographic region. To connect to Metro stations, I submitted a separate search for each Metro station. Of course, “dentist” is just one option for a type of place. The API has 96 Supported Place Types, from airport to zoo.

Try the Metro Places app to discover businesses near your favorite Metro station. To make your own search, select the type of place from the drop-down list, which station you want and how many stops you’re willing to travel (I assume no one wants to transfer), and how far you’re willing to walk from the end-station. You can display the results as a collection of icons or a heat map, or both. The icons returned are part of the Places API, such as a giant tooth for dentists, and a martini glass for bars. » Continue Reading…

Washington via WMATA

When I saw Dan Macy’s aerial photo of Washington, DC, I knew I had to turn it into the background for a map. Dan’s plane was flying into National Airport from New York City, and made an unusual entry over the Anacostia River, giving him a spectacular view of East Capitol Street, the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers, and the National Mall.

I’d been looking at the 2013 data from Capital Bikeshare, and made a little app that shows you the total number of bikeouts from each station, the Birds-eye view of CaBi stations. (A bikeout means someone rented a bike from that station.) The program was mostly an excuse to play with JavaScript and SVG graphics, without using a mapping or graphics library.

I had to figure out a not-too-complex way of mapping the latitude and longitude coordinates to the oblique photo. Unlike a map, the meridians (longitudes) aren’t vertical and the parallels (latitudes) aren’t horizontal. The bird’s-eye perspective also meant the meridians and parallels would be skewed. » Continue Reading…

The Bike Shops and Beyond map was created just over 4 weeks ago, but was already due for an update. Bicycle Space has moved to a new location, 8 Capital Bikeshare stations have been added, and I added a bunch of shops that had been missing. Though the map purports to represent only Washington, D.C. and Arlington, Virginia, I added more places around the region’s perimeter. (See Mapping Bike Shops, and Beyond.)

To support the map’s bike-friendly theme, I used a bike-oriented map. This was done by using the Layers feature of the Google Maps JavaScript API. The Bicycling Layer is drawn on top of the traditional Google map types (including the satellite view), and displays bike lanes and suggested bike routes. I do not have a bike layer for the OpenStreetMaps view. » Continue Reading…

This interactive bubble map lets you study travel patterns, showing results from the 2007 Survey of Metro Passenger Origin and Destination Stations. The survey got results from 708,406 passengers, asking them their origin and destination. I obtained a spreadsheet of the responses, but it’s hard to analyze a table of numbers with 86 rows and 86 columns. So, I decided to create a map using bubbles to reflect the volume of traffic. Yes, the data is five years old, but it’s all I had available.

When you move your cursor over a station, red bubbles appear over the other stations, their size reflecting the number of trips that originated at those stations that ended at the one you selected. An option at the bottom lets you see the reverse: trips from your selection to each of the remaining stations (using orange bubbles). You can also select a station via the menu at the bottom. Your chosen station is given a blue bubble showing the total. To view the exact numbers, click the “list” button. Your screen may not be tall enough to view all entries. (Hit the enter key to continue.)

To implement this, I first investigated Google Fusion Tables, but grew frustrated with the limited interface in their beta release. I found greater success with the Google Maps JavaScript API V3, which I have already used on other projects.

Here’s my application for discovering Capital Bikeshare (CaBi) locations, and the availability of bikes and empty docks. I was inspired to build CaBi Mapper after the Bike Shops and Beyond project, which was populated with coordinates for a variety of businesses and services, including CaBi locations.

The data came from Capital Bikeshare‘s bikeStations.xml file, which is constantly updated as bikes are checked out and returned. It includes latitude and longitude, so mapping is easy. PHP lets you read in the entire XML file with a single function, simplexml_load_file. I used the Google Maps JavaScript API v3 to draw the map (with help from OpenStreetMap).

Once the data is available, the rest of the project is designing the user interface. I chose to go with pie charts to show the ratio of available bikes to empty dock slots. Red (matching the color of the bicycles) is used to represent available bikes, and dark blue represents free spaces. Hovering over a marker displays the exact number of bikes and slots, as well as the location. Clicking on the marker will zoom in and pan to the center, and display an information window with the location, availability statistics, and the date and time that a change was last reported, meaning the last time a bike was either taken or returned. » Continue Reading…

With the news that H Street was getting the city’s newest bike shop, The Daily Rider, I wanted to create a map showing the distribution of bike shops in Washington, DC. I turned to Google Maps to give me an easy tool to display a set of place markers.

The Bike Shops and Beyond project is a more manageable scale than the 11,485 data points I needed for the Metro Bus Stops map, which at 5 megabytes was impractical for casual browsing. (See Mapping Metro‚Äôs 11,485 Bus Stops.) But the implementations aren’t that different.

Originally I was content to map only the city’s 13 bike shops. That got me thinking about other key retail venues that make neighborhoods more livable, so I added options to show cupcake shops, bowling alleys, and theatres. And I was also interested in the distribution of grocery stores, so I added them, and then tossed in Metro stops too. After adding Amtrak stations and National Airport, I thought a nice finishing touch would be Capital Bikeshare stations. Along the way I also started adding markers for neighboring jurisdictions, though these are by no means complete. (Arlington is almost complete.) » Continue Reading…

My Metro Bus Stops map shows all of Metro’s 11,485 bus stops. The file is 5.2 MB, so be patient while it loads.

The goal of the project was to demonstrate using WMATA‘s data and the Google Maps API.

The map lets you pan and zoom. You can hover over a pin to see the name of the stop and the zone, or click on the pin to zoom to that location. There is also an input field where you can enter any valid location, as understood by the Google Maps API. You can enter addresses, zip codes (20007, 20009), or place names (Arlington, DC, Dupont Circle, etc). » Continue Reading…