Mapping London Bike Transportation

Today’s visualization comes from Jo Wood at the City University London. The video shows bike trips in London using the city’s bike-sharing service, between docking stations. The video visualizes the origins and destinations as the start and end of a small blue wisp. The technique adds a tail to the end of the wisp to give the viewer a sense of motion and a reminder of pathway. Near the middle of the video, popular destinations begin to arise and a the end, popular routes are identified.

This visualization is a great example of how huge data sets can be visualized in beautiful and informative ways. When this data is overlaid on a map, decisions can be made as to where new bike lanes can be implemented, or where new docking stations should be placed.

The video looks like it was created using something like Processing, but it is unclear as to what tools were used.


  1. Jo Wood said:

    Thanks for your link to this work. Yes, all done in Processing with some help from the giCentre Utils library ( The video is just a screen capture of an session where the degree of ‘trail’ and emphasis on more frequent journeys are changed interactively. It forms part of a number of different visualizations of the bike movement data – for some detail on the design and other approaches, see

    • Sheraz said:

      Thanks for the comment and the links! I’m seeing Processing being used more and more for developing visualizations of urban data – it’s really an amazing tool.

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