Friday, April 25, 2014

Bay Area Bike Share - Data Challenge

I've put together an entry for the Bay Area Bike Share Data Challenge.  The challenge involved a fun data set containing individual trips and bike availability data.

It's an iOS app, because that's what I do.  Even better, it's a script in the WhirlyViz app.

Popular Trips

The Entry

My entry to the competition is the app.  More specifically, it's the Bay Area Bike Share Stats visualization within WhirlyViz.

First, go install WhirlyViz.  It's fine, I can wait.

Next, find the "Bay Area Bike Share Stats" entry.

There's instructions in the upper left.  But just go ahead and tap on things.  No one reads the instructions.

The Video

Don't have an iPad or iPhone?  It's cool, I won't tell anyone.  You can just watch the video.

The Technology

The display part here is WhirlyViz, my geospatial data display engine based on the WhirlyGlobe-Maply library.  Since moving to Javascript for the configuration files, I've put together some interesting examples.  The BABS visualization is the most complicated thus far.

I'm really liking how much control I have with the Javascript support.  I can start to tell a story with the data and point out things along the way.  I'm parsing a couple varieties of JSON from different sources, but it's all pretty seamless to the user.

The back end technology is PostgreSQL running on an Amazon ec2 instance with a simple node.js front end.  This is the first time I've bothered to stand up something like that and it was interesting.  It makes me appreciate the commercial services and what they do.

Bonus Visualization

It turns out several cities use the same format for their bike availability feed.  Look for the "City BikeShares" entry in WhirlyViz.