Public Transit

How Can Movement Visualization of Public Transit Help Commuters?

The same way analyzing passenger movement data helps in transportation planning, movement visualization of public transits could help commuters to plan their day-to-day trips – evaluating with what mode of public transport and in what time they can arrive at the destination stop.

A German university student has developed an interactive tool that provides movement visualization of an entire public transit network showing the exact current position of public transportation vehicles (no matter whether it is a train, a bus or a tram) as per their schedules.

The tool takes the transit data from more than 200 global transportation networks and puts them into an animated map. The map is built on General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) data and it combines both static schedule data with possibly available real-time data. If there are no real-time feeds for a specific region or if they are temporarily unavailable, the visualization will be shown based on the interpolated schedule positions of the vehicles.

The tool not only showcases an entire movement of the mass transit network, but also provides an insight into how transportation planning works. For example, Melbourne has the largest urban tram network in the world. The visualization tool shows different modes of public transport with different colored dots – maybe red dots for trains, yellow dots for trams and blue dots for buses.

With this representation, one can notice how ubiquitous trams are in the city of Melbourne. It also shows the path each vehicle takes and which mode of public transport can be used to getting around the city and how three transit systems operate co-dependently.

Besides the schedule, the GTFS feeds may also contain precise track locations. With special routing algorithm, these data can be show on the map.

Leave a comment: Do you think the information provided in this tool is sufficient? Or do you have any further ideas on what more information can be added to make your commute easier?

Please note that this article expresses the opinions of the author and does not reflect the views of Move Forward.


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