Oyster Flowprint · Visualisation of trips using London’s RFID Oyster Card on the London Underground network · Anil Bawa-Cavia (2010)
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This Oyster flowprint visualises trips made using London’s RFID transport card on the London Underground on a typical weekday. Each trail is an individual passenger making a trip, tapping their card at an origin and destination. The actual routes taken are inferred using a simple shortest path algorithm. The animation uses a 5% sample of passengers on the network made available as a Transport for London Data Feed.

Activity on the network is charted along the bottom of the graphic. The double-humped dynamics typical of commuting are evident, and these constitute the characteristic signature of the living city. Twice a day the flowprint expands and contracts, sending its tendrils deep into North London; the diurnal ‘pulse’ of the city in action.

Synchronisation of travel during the morning rush hour, with a steep ramp in activity peaking at 8:40AM, is much greater than during the afternoon, which sees a much broader peak in activity, with people leaving work at a range of times. The afternoon rush hour doesn’t subside until after 7pm, evidence perhaps of Londoner’s love of an after-work pint.

See Also: Flowprint, Boris, PRT, Network, QR, Data, Real Time, Isochronic