Capital Bikeshare makes a lot of its data available to the public. “We collect more data than we know what to do with,” said CaBi General Manager, Eric Gilliland on a tour of their headquarters during last week’s National Bike Summit. The public has returned the gesture by making some real neat animated visualizations of the program’s ridership data.

The one below shows the time-lapsed station-to-station trips for every bicycle used in the system over the course of four days. The video validates some commonsense assumptions for such a large system: ridership peaks during morning and evening commutes, slows and steadies midday, and dips to just a handful of riders late at night. Even at its lowest point in the middle of the night, however, someone somewhere is using a CaBi bike. The trend appears similar on weekdays and on weekends–except evening use seems to be higher on Friday and Saturday nights when people are crawling D.C. bars and restaurants.

Capital Bikeshare doesn’t use GPS on its bikes, so route information for each trip isn’t available. As a result, the visualization makes each trip look like the bikes fly from station to station in a straight line, completely avoiding streets altogether. (Obviously, this isn’t the case in reality, but how cool would that be?)

The best part of this video still is watching the bike movements. It’s visually entrancing, almost like staring at a swarming Ishihara color perception test. And it has re-watch value. So watch it–and then watch it again.

Source: Greater Greater Washington