Friday, December 7, 2012

Youtube User Makes Video Art from LA Metro Data Stream

Hunter Communications recommended reading from:

Link to article:
A Day in the Life of LA's Public Transit Via Visualized Data

Part of the data that makes Google Maps able to predict the next bus or train coming to your pinpointed location is from General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS), furnished by LA Metro and transit companies around the world.  Now a youtube clip (with admittedly cheesy Muzak-ish soundtrack) uses the swarming dots on a pitch-dark LA region map to make a teeming, living work of transit art on video.

Excerpt: "Did you know that transit agencies around the globe make their data streams available to the public via a Google-developed platform called General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS)? Among those are Los Angeles agencies like Metro and Metrolink; they are just two of the hundreds of agencies whose data goes to the GTFS, which keeps tabs on details like train and bus lines, schedules and stop frequency.

A YouTube user took the GTFS data for a 24-hour period and turned them into videos for the various transit agencies. Each stop is a tiny white dot on a broad black expanse; in L.A.'s Metro, though, you can soon see the transit landscape of the city emerge above the blue base of the Pacific, with Downtown a bright hub. A little less blingy is Metrolink, with its commuter trains crisscrossing the county."

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