James Davenport, the astronomy grad student and data whiz who figured out that 80 percent of Americans live within 20 miles of a Starbucks, is back with a fascinating visualization of Seattle’s public transportation.
This is every bus that passes through the city in 24 hours:
“I ride the bus almost every day in Seattle, and all my fellow graduate students depend on it,” Davenport wrote on his blog. “How can our local economy survive if people can’t get around the city?!”
Davenport’s animation comes as King County Metro considers cutting 74 routes to close a budget gap.
I mused about the challenge of finding a data visualization to capture the emotion and gravity of this issue. Rather than produce some big infographic or series of detailed graphs, I decided to make an animation. This traces every bus through every stop, for one entire weekday. Note how our entire city, every major landmark and neighborhood, is traced by just plotting the bus stops. The buses thread the city like ants in a colony, connecting everyone and everywhere.
Read more about Davenport’s methodology and findings on his If We Assume blog.