London’s Oyster Card Tidal Flow

Here is an animation I created a couple of years ago, one of a number I created for the “Sense and the City” exhibition at the London Transport Museum, which ran from Summer 2011 to Spring 2012. A version of this animation was branded appropriately for the exhibition and shown upstairs in the interactive section. I also created a similar animation of the Barclays Cycle Hire, and colleagues created other map-based visualisations of the moving city.

The animated map shows the touch-ins (going into the network) and touch-outs (leaving the network) of Oyster cards at London’s tube and train stations, including a few beyond the Greater London boundary which still accept Oyster cards. Oyster cards are London’s travel smartcards. As the animation moves forwards in 10-minute intervals during the typical weekday, the balance between touch-ins and touch-outs is shown by a colour scale. Red indicates the great majority of taps are touch-ins, and green indicates mainly touch-outs. White is the “neutral” colour, indicating that roughly as many people are entering the network as leaving it, at that period in time.