The cars drive in, the cars drive out. Over and over and over.
May 28, 2016 10:14 AM   Subscribe

Using data compiled from the U.S. Census American Community Survey, Mark Evans has compiled hypnotic visualizations of commutes around the U.S. There are more in-depth details at his blog, I Like Big Bytes.

The project is based on work by Alasdair Rae.
posted by Room 641-A (25 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
 
This is awesome. Thanks!
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:41 AM on May 28, 2016


Is this just driving? I did Brooklyn, NY, and the data shows that no one commutes to Manhattan. Which... is wrong.
posted by Automocar at 11:10 AM on May 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Is this just driving? I did Brooklyn, NY, and the data shows that no one commutes to Manhattan. Which... is wrong.


From the comments in the second link:

You might notice that there’s a label above the map (to the right) that shows that distance of commute are included in the query. The default is 20 to 100 miles. This is indicated in the notes as well. You can adjust this range by clicking on the “20 to 100 mi” label that will open a slider control that allows you to change the max/min miles included in the visualization. Thanks!



Doing that fixed it for my city (which also showed nobody working downtown).
posted by damayanti at 11:24 AM on May 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Going to work...Going home
Going to work...Going home
Going to work...Going home...
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 12:09 PM on May 28, 2016 [5 favorites]


Going to work...Going home
Going to work...Going home
Going to work...Going home...

Inhale...Exhale...feel your brain relaxing...
posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 12:45 PM on May 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


These are a great way to see the data.
posted by Dip Flash at 1:01 PM on May 28, 2016


Are there any city-to-city comparisons of what percentage of workers commute into the city each day? I know that I've read that Pittsburgh's population goes up by 50% every weekday and I have no idea if that's typical or not.
posted by octothorpe at 1:06 PM on May 28, 2016


What does CV stand for?
posted by oceanjesse at 1:12 PM on May 28, 2016


Changing it to "workplace" and then picking a high-density, high-cost county like San Francisco or Santa Clara makes the dots explode nicely in the "going home" phase.
posted by ctmf at 1:39 PM on May 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think CV stands for "coefficient of variation" but I'm confused about what it's measuring in this context.
posted by escabeche at 1:50 PM on May 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Apparently a lot of people around here commute to work in a nearby national park and then go home to live in a tiny island? I don't think this works everywhere!
posted by fshgrl at 1:52 PM on May 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


The CV slider seems to choose how many people it takes to rate a dot. If low, there has to be a significant number of people doing that route. At 95, it looks like you get a dot for damn near every route more than a couple of people are doing.
posted by ctmf at 2:01 PM on May 28, 2016


the cv thing excludes data from the survey with large errors (small samples) as explained here.
posted by andrewcooke at 2:03 PM on May 28, 2016


This appears to show somebody commuting from Forks to Seattle, which... hopefully isn't a daily thing for them?
posted by the agents of KAOS at 2:30 PM on May 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Holy crap, I just found an estimated 4 people commuting to DC from around Geneva, PA which is ~100mi north of Pittsburgh - a 5 hour drive to get here. I'd heard of some long commutes, but that takes the cake.
posted by capricorn at 3:31 PM on May 28, 2016


Are there any city-to-city comparisons of what percentage of workers commute into the city each day?

Some helpful search terms are "daytime population" or "commuter-adjusted population" -- here's a quick CityLab piece on the subject and the Census Bureau page it was based on.
posted by andrewesque at 3:42 PM on May 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh man, my partner and I just did the American Community Survey recently!

I was embarrassingly excited to do it, both as a nerd who researches historic census data, and as someone who recently took a statistics class where I had to (got to) write a research paper using data from Data.gov (which is a great place to find huge, free data sets, btw).

No great surprises for where I lived. In the blog post he has a link to Loveland, which apparently maps out a lot of the individual census tracts and so on. I'm using it to look up commuters in more sparsely populated areas.

Neat post!
posted by teponaztli at 7:44 PM on May 28, 2016


All I know is that, for years, I had a 1.5 hour commute one way, if there were no traffic jams, and it crushed my soul, and I was a single 25 year old guy at the time. That is NO way to live.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 10:03 PM on May 28, 2016


Seattle/Tacoma is a mess.
posted by marvin at 10:55 PM on May 28, 2016


I spent nine years commuting in from the next county and never again.
posted by octothorpe at 4:51 AM on May 29, 2016


If you dial the distance slider way out, you catch people who are obviously flying in from other cities. Does the data set this is based on count people who fly back and forth for part of every week, or just people who are commuting daily?
posted by Dip Flash at 6:44 AM on May 29, 2016


Set it to workplace: New York County if you want to make your computer sad.

Set minimum distance below 20 miles if you want to make your computer sadder.

Set maximum distance to 300 miles if you want to be sad for people who have made terrible choices:
http://bigbytes.mobyus.com/commute.aspx?County=61&State=36&MinMiles=20&MaxMiles=300&MaxCoV=0.8&CountyType=work
posted by akgerber at 7:54 AM on May 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


Set it to workplace: New York County if you want to make your computer sad.

Set minimum distance below 20 miles if you want to make your computer sadder.


I'd tried this with L.A. and didn't know if it was just me.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:57 AM on May 29, 2016


Javascript is pretty good at making computers sad.
posted by akgerber at 10:32 AM on May 29, 2016


I would love it if the various dots bumped up against one another and created traffic jams.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 7:44 PM on May 29, 2016


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