Except as something really fast and elegant.

A full 24 hours on the New York City subway will crush your spirit and assault every last one of your senses. Here’s what that looks like if you view it from afar, abstract everything, speed it up about 400 times, and put some calming music on in the background:

Will Geary, a Columbia University student, put the visualization together using station location data from the MTA and timetables for each subway line. The orderly nature of train movement masks the madness inside each station and subway car in a project like this. But if you’re into that, check out his Citi Bike activity map, where the dots representing each user really let you feel the commuting chaos wash over Manhattan.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Life

    What Happened When Tulsa Paid People to Work Remotely

    The first class of hand-picked remote workers moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, in exchange for $10,000 and a built-in community. The city might just be luring them to stay.

  2. Environment

    Calling Out the Super Polluters

    Just 100 industrial facilities are to blame for more than a third of U.S. toxic air emissions. A new report ranks the biggest offenders.

  3. Design

    Coronavirus Outbreak Maps Rooted in History

    Cartographers are mapping the coronavirus in more sophisticated ways than past epidemics. But visualizing outbreaks dates back to cholera and yellow fever.

  4. Photo: A protected bike lane along San Francisco's Market Street, which went car-free in January.
    Transportation

    Why Would a Bike Shop Fight a Bike Lane?

    A store owner is objecting to San Francisco’s plan to install a protected bike lane, because of parking worries. Should it matter that it’s a bike shop?

  5. animated illustration: cars, bikes, scooters and drones in motion.
    Transportation

    This City Was Sick of Tech Disruptors. So It Decided to Become One.

    To rein in traffic-snarling new mobility modes, L.A. needed digital savvy. Then came a privacy uproar, a murky cast of consultants, and a legal crusade by Uber.

×