New York City Subway Investigation /// Which subway lines are on time?

NYC subway investigationJust came across an app that visualizes data about what NYC subway lines are on time. The app uses an interactive map with subway lines, and when a subway is chosen, the app shows the user what percent of the trips are on time. The tool is an SVG chart enabled with Javascript library d3.js.


I’m going to start adding my own thoughts and critiques to the visualizations that I post here, after seeing a few hundred, I’m starting to wonder, “What’s the point?” Click below for some thoughts. 

Critique – I’m not exactly sure what this should be used for. This is a question I’m increasingly coming across, that is, what is the point of these beautiful visualizations? Why are these being made? Is it for the popularity? Is it to demonstrate a designer’s skills? Is it for data geeks to somehow understand the world better?

Often, I feel like these visualizations are made with the assumption that they make the world more transparent, but without some interpretation or discussion of the results, they potentially remain as mystefying as the datasets they come from.

In this case, the charts can give evidence of service improvement over time – this means that the NYC MTA can be held accountable. But the question that remains is, will they be held accountable?



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: