Sense and the City

The Sense and the City exhibition at the Transport Museum in Covent Garden opens today, and runs until March next year. It includes a number of transport visualisations contributed by the team at UCL CASA, including a themed version of my own Bike Share Map, and a similar animation I’ve done for Oyster card tap ins/outs, and also Dr Martin Zaltz Austwick’s bike movement animation. I was along with Martin (pictured above and below!) and some of the others in the team, for the private view on Wednesday.

The exhibition is in three main sections – downstairs there are a number of big screens, showing the aforementioned animations. The area is quite dark, so the graphics have come out really well. The second section is up a spiral staircase (easy to miss) where a number of touch-screen computers show more visualisations from CASA and others, each selectable by the user. The system that runs this will allow us to update the animations during the course of the exhibition, so if we do some newer related work, you may well see it here! Behind this is the last section, which is more conceptual, with a number of “visions of the future from the past” magazine covers, and other bits of futuristic transport technology – a Sinclair C5 and a “Ryno” one-wheeled motorbike. Sadly a Barclays Cycle Hire bike is not there in the flesh, but you don’t have to walk far from Covent Garden to run into them in real life. Finally, just outside the exhibition area is a “smart” bus-stop. You have to look carefully to spot the video camera, which apparently detects how much interest people are taking in the advertising panel, and adjusts its advertising appropriately.

Of course, being the transport museum, all the regular tube trains and buses are still there. The “New Bus for London” mockup is there, as is a classic Routemaster, and it would have been rude not to have gone for a ride…

Below – the Oyster card animation and Steven Gray’s Tweet-o-Meters.