Archived: TfL Open Data: Powering the Tube Heartbeat

Our open data policy has been a key priority over the last few years, and we’re proud to be at the forefront of the open data revolution, supplying our data to over 8,500 developers who are creating important products to help keep London moving. Visualisation of our data can be particularly impressive, and there’s a great example of this with the “Tube Heartbeat.”

Tube Heartbeat image
The Tube Heartbeat visualises the volume of passengers using the Tube. It also goes right down to the platform level, the number of entrances and exits, and even the number of people aboard each tube train.

In a commission from HERE, UCL researcher Oliver O’Brien has taken data published by Transport for London to visualise the heartbeat of the city’s tube system. The lines grow and pulse according to the volume of passengers that they are carrying, showing very clearly the morning and evening rush hours.”
Ian Delaney, HERE 360 blog

As Ian Delaney explains on the HERE 360 blog, the visualisation is based upon an extensive TfL dataset which includes the volumes of people at each station at 15-minute intervals, their origins and destinations. It also goes right down to the platform level, the number of entrances and exits, and even the number of people aboard each tube train.


See the Tube Heartbeat by following this link


The Tube Heartbeat visualises our RODS (Rolling Origin Destination Survey) dataset. You can find out more about this dataset in the ‘Network Statistics’ section of this page on our website.

We are always delighted to see the amazing products that are created using the data we publish, and this example really highlights how our data can be used to build up a meaningful picture of what is going on around London’s transport network, and how this can be visualised.

In Autumn this year, we intend to release our latest London Underground passenger volumes and train loading data, which represents a typical day on the network. We want this data to further enhance this kind of product development, allowing developers to keep building ever more creative and useful tools to help our customers make even more informed travel decisions.

As ever, please keep an eye out on this blog for news of new datasets and further releases to our Unified API. If you are interested in working with our open data, you can find out more here.

If you have worked on, or know of other examples of great products that have been created using our data, please let us know in the comments.

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