A map of Capital Bikeshare data by time and route

December 1, 2013 |

Capital Bikeshare, Washington D.C.'s communal cycling service, releases huge amounts of anonymous data on every trip taken by a customer. I can't even ride a bike anymore—you do forget—but I thought the data would offer fascinating insights about D.C. transportation when threaded into station-to-station routes.

After fiddling around for a few weeks, figuring I had all the time in the world on this lead, the New Yorker published a fantastic map of New York's Citi Bike program program. If you must be scooped, it's good to be scooped by the best.

The D.C. data is actually far more granular, as it can be sliced and diced down to the level of an individual trip. (One wonders if more than a few illicit journeys are encoded in these files.) In my map, which visualizes the total traffic on weekdays between Jan. 1, 2012 and April 30, 2013, one can see the traffic between any two stations for any hour of the day.

This app uses the d3.geo.tile, which integrates beautifully with MapBox for custom tiling options. I was able to manually choose the grayscale color scheme for the tiles on the MapBox site, then instruct the page to make calls to tile images associated with my account. It's beginning to look like a grand new era of Google-free Javascript mapping.