Tube Heartbeat: Visualising London’s pulse

A really cool visualisation of London's tube network usage #Geoawesomeness


Public transportation data can reveal a lot about a city and is tremendously useful if you are an urban planner looking to understand the city’s transportation needs better. The data when visualised (in the right manner) can reveal some interesting patterns that you possibly couldn’t see otherwise. Like for example, how London’s tube network usage really (and surprisingly) resembles a beating heart.


London's tube heartbeat! Image copyright @here 360
London’s tube heartbeat! Image copyright @here

Tube HeartBeat

The project adeptly titled “Tube HeartBeat” by created Oliver O’Brien (Senior Research Associate at University College London in a commission by HERE) uses the Rolling Origin Destination Survey data from Transport for London (TfL). For more details about the project, check out the blog from HERE 360.

A really cool visualisation of London’s tube network usage that surprisingly resembles a beating heart! How cool it is that? #Geoawesomeness



“The data includes, in fifteen-minute intervals throughout a weekday, the volume of tube passengers moving between every adjacent pair of stations on the entire tube network – 762 links across the 11 lines. It also includes numbers entering, exiting and transferring within each of the 268* tube stations, again at a 15 minute interval from 5am in the morning, right through to 2am. It has an origin/destination matrix too, again at fine-grained time intervals….” – Oliver O’Brien’s Blog

The data is available under the UK Open Government Licence (OGL v2). The project is a good example of what is possible when governments decide to open up their data repository for public use, something that Javier Tresoldi and many others at the OSM community have been passionately campaigning for (Related:  The good news of Open data and OpenStreetMap Evangelisation). 

VIAHere 360 Blog
I am one of those passionate "Geo-geeks" and "Geo-people" who is just too excited about everything Geo and Management. Location information and spatial technologies are just too big to take a back seat and watch them revolutionize the world. Always curious and looking for ways to innovate, I guess that it comes naturally by the gene pool I inherited from an engineer Mom and a researcher Dad.


  1. It would be interesting to see it on other networks if there is data out there. When we started making ours I spent quite a while looking for large free open datasets and TfL seemed to be the best, they don’t seem easy to come by online (presumably because lots of people have realised that they can sell them).


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