#BODSisBeautiful – Data Stories

Here at Ito we spend a lot of time looking at bus data and wanted to create a set of visualisations that looked at interesting narrative threads. We decided to produce a trilogy of visualisations, episodic in nature, all looking at various elements of bus travel in the UK. 

The data was sourced from The Bus Open Data Service (BODS), an open data service developed for the Department for Transport by Ito.

Episode 1: One of the… Longest and Loneliest Buses in BODS

This visualisation involved analysing BODS data for a three hour window (10:00 – 13:00) and using spatial analytics calculating each bus routes proximity to neighbouring buses. In addition to proximity we also factored in route length. So the routes with the least interaction with other buses and those that travelled over long distances were deemed the longest and loneliest buses in BODS. The SDVN route came hight on that list and it’s route is visualised above.

Episode 2 – The Hardest Working Bus

In Episode 2 we wanted to look at ‘hard-working’ buses and by that we mean looking at buses that traverse a lot of terrain, i.e. the delta between min and max is high for ascent and descent, plus they also travel over large distances, 50% weighting on each. After a lot of data crunching we have it – busses on Borders Buses Line LI8335 are amongst the hardest working busses in the UK.

 Episode 3 – The Longest Journey

For the last visualisation we just wanted to visualise one of the UK’s longest journeys in BODS. A fairly simple metric calculated by analysing the length of the line at the end of the journey. We spent more time on the aesthetic in this visual, building up the mini diorama to create a sense of place and scale. 
So after scouring a day’s worth of bus open data we discovered the X99 line Inverness to Thurso is ‘one of’ the longest bus journeys in BODS, ~71 stops over ~218 minutes – this is one big old journey!

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