London Blog

Cool Visualisation Shows Movements Of London Hire Bikes

London recently followed Paris and other cities by installing a network of cycle-hire stands. Dubbed Boris bikes after the cycle-crazy London mayor who oversaw their introduction, the blue velocipedes have become a popular fixture on London’s streets.

They’ve also inspired a cottage industry of mobile application development, to help people find their nearest rack, or a free drop-off point.

But here’s something new. Ollie O’Brien and Martin Austwick of UCL’s Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) have put together an animation showing the movements of the Boripedes on their busiest day so far – during the Tube strike of 4 October 2010.

London Hire Bikes animation from Sociable Physics on Vimeo.

Rather hypnotic. Fast forward to the evening rush hour to see it go nuts.


  1. Report this comment

    Cath Ennis said:

    VERY cool! I love how the underlying street plan appears during the morning rush hour, fades away during the day, then reappears during the evening rush.

    It’d be interesting to collect data over a whole year (or more) and assess correlations with temperature and precipitation!

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    Alejandro Correa said:

    Movement is great there, awesome!.

  3. Report this comment

    Tom Webb said:

     Yes – that really is cool! I happened to be listening to Propellorheads when I watched it, which I can now recommend as an excellent soundtrack!

  4. Report this comment

    Laura Wheeler said:

    Very cool indeed! Tom will have to watch it again- give the whole experience an added beat!!!

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    Lou Woodley said:

    While we’ve getting all excited about big city transport visualisations, this one of the NYC subway system is also very neat (and generates its own soundtrack!).

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