A look at Boston's public transit, operating in real time, on Thursday May, 14. Screenshot from TRAVIC

An open-source, animated map features 249 global mass transit networks.

A German university student has developed a fun new tool for visualizing public transit in a more system-oriented way.

Transit Visualization Client, or TRAVIC, takes public data from 249 transportation networks, across five continents, and puts them onto one, animated map. The only caveat is that some data point movements correspond to schedules, not real-time realities, so think of it as a quasi-utopia of uninterrupted transit. Here’s a shot of a Washington, D.C. Red Line train making its way toward Metro Center earlier this week.

(screenshot from travic.geops.ch)

Aside from offering a broad look at the movements of global transit networks, TRAVIC offers a unique opportunity to analyze how these systems work. Take Melbourne for example:

This is the city’s downtown CBD during morning rush hour. The red dots represent train cars, the yellow are trams, and blue are buses. You’ll notice how ubiquitous trams are. That’s because Melbourne boasts the largest urban tram network in the world. More, the map showcases how trains are a peripheral means of getting around Melbourne’s highly pedestrian City Square neighborhood. Liam Mannix, writing about the map for The Age, a local newspaper, explains how the three transit methods operate co-dependently.

Trains run quickly on huge, gently-curving routes. Trams chug along in huge numbers. Buses seem to scurry through the city's backstreets, reaching places heavy rail never can.

North Melbourne, according to Mannix, serves as a major transfer station for the city. Below you can see how buses and trains intersect at the Footscray station.

Here’s how other transit systems from across the world were running on May 14, 2015.

Sao Paulo, Brazil

(travic.geops.ch)

Mexico City, Mexico

(travic.geops.ch)

London, U.K.

(travic.geops.ch)

Manhattan, New York

(travic.geops.ch)

Frankfurt, Germany

(travic.geops.ch)

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. a photo of a tiny house in Oregon
    Design

    How Amazon Could Transform the Tiny House Movement

    Could the e-commerce giant help turn small-home living from a niche fad into a national housing solution?

  2. The downtown St. Louis skyline.
    Perspective

    Downtown St. Louis Is Rising; Black St. Louis Is Being Razed

    Square co-founder Jack Dorsey is expanding the company’s presence in St. Louis and demolishing vacant buildings on the city’s north side.

  3. an aerial view of Los Angeles shows the complex of freeways, new construction, familiar landmarks, and smog in 1962.
    Transportation

    The Problem With Amazon’s Cheap Gas Stunt

    The company promoted its TV show The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel with a day of throwback 1959-style prices in Los Angeles. What could go wrong?

  4. Environment

    What U.S. Cities Facing Climate Disaster Risks Are Least Prepared?

    New studies find cities most vulnerable to climate change disasters—heat waves, flooding, rising seas, drought—are the least prepared.

  5. a photo of Housing Secretary Ben Carson in Baltimore in July.
    Equity

    How HUD Could Dismantle a Pillar of Civil Rights Law

    The Department of Housing and Urban Development plans to revise the “disparate impact” rule, which could fundamentally reshape federal fair housing enforcement.  

×