Visualising the flow of public transport in major cities

New York City public transportation visualised
New York City public transportation visualised

It’s amazing what can be done with raw data. YouTube user STLTransit has created over 40 visualisations of public transport activity across major cities and regions in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.

STLTransit uses General Transit Feed Specifications data published by various transit authorities when creating the visualisations. The General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) defines a common format by which public transport schedules and other geographic information data can be communicated and used in an interoperable way.

Each ‘dot’ denotes an instance of public transportation, with varying modes of travel, like bus, rail, or subway, differentiated by colour. In the example of New York City, each island is clearly visible, as is the city’s strict grid format.

Each video typically illustrates one weekday 24 hour period beginning at 4am.

New York City


Washington, DC

Greater Montreal, Canada

Greater Manchester, United Kingdom

Perth, Australia

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Darren McCarra
Darren McCarra is co-editor of The Sociable. He has a keen interest in photography, all things mobile, and writing about technology and social media. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.