TTC passenger map (revised)

Sorry it took so long to come up with a revised TTC passenger map (see previous post). First I had to come up with the appropriate formula in Excel (thanks to the NICAR listserv for explaining what that would be and why.) Then I lost my KML radius generator magic – I’m still not sure how that happened.

Then there were the usual minor weirdnesses – Midland station ended up off the coast of Peru in an early draft.

In any case, this version of the TTC map shows circles proportionately sized by area showing the typical number of customers travelling to and from each station platform on an average weekday. This technique could be used for other kinds of data, one reason I wanted to get it right.

TTC passenger map

Here’s the first map I’ve made in some time outside the Star’s resources – it went pretty smoothly.

The map shows ridership by subway station, taken from this document, which lists ‘the typical number of customers travelling to and from each station platform on an average weekday’. The circles were sized by defining the radius as 1% of this number as metres, so that for example Union, with 102,160 passengers a day, got a 1021m-radius circle, and so forth.

I’m open to a discussion of whether this makes sense as a graphic design strategy: 1) Bloor/Yonge’s circle stretches from Eglinton to a point in the harbour about a third of the way to Ward’s Island; 2) from what I dimly remember from high school geometry, the differences between stations are probably being visually exaggerated by expressing them as circles. update: see comment

As for the actual data, I wasn’t aware how little traffic there actually is on the Sheppard line – you will have to zoom in four levels to see Bessarion at all clearly.

Interactive maps

I produce maps on as wide a range of topics as possible. Some are produced from open-source information, while the data for others was unearthed using access-to-information laws. Here is a selection of those I have made for OpenFile, the Star and this blog:

Toronto elementary school test results
A map series looks at five years of standardized testing for Grade 3 pupils by elementary school catchment areas.
Link to the maps
A poll-by-poll look at Rob Ford’s victory
Displaying results by about 1,000 polls gives a high level of local nuance to Toronto’s mayoral election. This was the most detailed election map of November’s election published.
Link to the map
Toronto’s Second World War dead
A major project maps the homes of about 3,200 Toronto residents killed in the Second World War.
Link to the maps
Ontario baby names
A 42-map collection looks at the leading baby names by postal code in the GTA, Ottawa and Hamilton/Niagara by postal code.
Link to the maps
Where police live
A minority of Toronto police officers live in the city, maps show.
Link to the map
Who calls 311
A map of callers to Toronto’s 311 service shows some revealing patterns.
Link to the map
Real estate
A growing and popular series of maps tracks trends in the GTA’s real estate market.
Link to the maps
Reports of bedbugs form a surprising pattern across the map of Toronto.
Link to the map
Organ donor registry
A look at Ontario’s organ donor registry shows that Toronto has the lowest rates in the province. Why?
Link to the map
Toronto Centre by-election
A detailed, fully interactive poll-by-poll look at the Toronto Centre by-election shows the voting patterns of this unique riding.
Link to the maps
A map of rates of passport holding shows some revealing patterns.
Link to the map
A map series looks at aspects of childbirth in the GTA, from homebirth to maternal age.
Link to the maps
Same-sex marriage
What neighbourhoods do same-sex married couples come from? Two maps show how patterns differ between men and women.
Link to the maps
Dog ownership
Over 20 maps look at everything to do with dog ownership in Toronto, broken down by postal code.
Link to the maps
Impaired driving
Where are Ontario’s worst postal codes for impaired driving charges? These maps will show you. Includes age graphs of drunk drivers.
Link to the maps
The Riverdale First World War project
About 200 residents of Riverdale were killed in the First World War. This home-by-home map hints at the scale of a neighbourhood’s trauma.
Link to the map
Street racing
A map of drivers charged with street racing shows very different patterns from the drunk driving map. Why so many in Caledon?
Link to the maps
A frequently updated map keeps track of Ontario’s swine flu cases, broken down by region.
Link to the maps
Historic map overlays
1878 maps overlay the modern streetscape of Toronto, and the present Pearson airport site.
Link to the maps
Gun ownership
A map series looks at gun ownership in the GTA by postal code.
Link to the maps
Infectious disease
Reports of infectious disease, broken down by the patient’s postal code, show TB, hepatitis and several STDs.
Link to the maps
Neighbourhood crime maps
A growing series of crime maps based on City of Toronto-defined neighbourhoods.
Link to the maps
Neighbourhood project
We asked readers to define their Toronto neighbourhoods. This was the result.
Link to the maps
Maps show smoking patterns regionally in Ontario and in the GTA by census tract.
Link to the maps
Military recruiting
Which neighbourhoods do the GTA’s military recruits come from? Maps break it down by postal code.
Link to the maps
Traffic safety
Maps using a year’s worth of pedestrian and cyclist accidents show where Toronto’s danger spots are.
Link to the maps
Maps look at admission to the six campuses of the GTA’s three universities, and at where Toronto high school dropouts live.
Link to the maps
Where farms have been lost in Ontario over the past ten years.
Link to the map

Under the hood

I have created about 100 maps, of varying levels of sophistication, for the Web. The early ones used a proprietary system invented at the Star in 2004, while more recent ones use conventional KML. Some involved boundary sets I created, while others use boundary sets imported from formats intended for print, like .shp files.

At the moment, our most complex maps show about 1,000 census tracts in the Toronto area, each with its own customized popup box.

My ambition is to create maps like this one on the New York Times site, which shows about 6,000 areas and loads very quickly. I am also exploring the storytelling potential of a Google Earth animation presented to the reader as a movie file with voiceover.

Here is a recent video. Mouseover the image below to start:

Here is a screenshot from one recent map: