Data Viz Done Right

June 25, 2018

Makeover Monday: When are bicycles hired in London?

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The weather has been wonderful here in London lately, with really warm temperatures expected later this week. I take advantage of the weather by cycling to work whenever I can. It not only helps the environment, it's good for my health, it's good for my mind, and cycling commuting saves me time and money.

I asked Eva to use data from Transport for London's open API about their cycle hire scheme. Data is available back to 2012 and I offered to prep it for her and upload it to Exasol...all 50M+ bike hires worth. I love the weeks when we get to use Exasol because I can ask and answer questions on massive data sets without any performance constraints.

The visualization to makeover this week comes from Sophie Sparks:


What works well?

  • The small multiple layout works great or showing cyclical patterns (see what I did there?).
  • The diverging color scale helps accentuate the peak periods.
  • The shading under the lines makes the viz feel more full and complete.
  • Shading the weekends helps separate them from the rest of the weekdays.
  • Putting the word When in red in the title to match the peak period.

What could be improved?

  • I would remove the section at the top that says "Boris Bikes" and the image.
  • Include some sort of insight as a subtitle.
  • There's no indication of what the y-axis means. I assume it's the number of bikes hired, but it could just as easily be something else.

What I did

  • First, I rebuilt Sophie's viz because I like it.
  • I wanted to focus on the weekday and hourly patterns in the data.
  • Use the TFL blue as a single color for the viz.
  • Provide some interactivity so that people could see when the peaks and troughs in the data are for a specific year or month.

Click on the image for the interactive version.

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