London’s bikeshare has launched over 5 million trips since it started in 2010. This animation by visualization specialist Jo Wood shows you where they’ve all been going. It’s more informative if you know the city — but even if you don’t, it’s kind of hypnotic.
(It won’t let us embed, but New Scientist has a version with trippy music — highly recommended.)
The animation doesn’t track the actual movement of the bikes (that’s why the lines don’t match up with a London road map). Instead, Wood looked at the start and end points of the bikeshare’s first 5 million customers — so what emerges from the map’s initial chaos is a plot of the most popular start and end points and how they feed into each other. This is useful for letting planners know which stations to stock with bikes … but for people outside the small world of London bike transport, it mainly just looks really cool.