Visualization: Personal Healthmap, Capital Bikeshare, Washington, DC USA

CaBi Heat Map
CaBi Heat Map (View on

That didn’t take very long. No sooner did I learn about the possibility of creating a personal heat map (I’m just going to call it a health map, because I can) of just my Capital Bikeshare (@bikeshare) trips did I get one of my own.

This is in contrast from the population-based heatmaps that have already been generated: see A health map rather than a heat map – #CTHNext Bikeshare Station’s first two weeks.

Both were created by DC’s open transportation data diplomat, Michael Schade (@mvs202).

I’m not 100% sure why this is useful to a person. Well, here’s one way it is – engaging a person in data visualization that’s extremely relevant to them, can interest them in looking at the total health of the population, which is what the population heatmaps do currently.

If you have other ideas, let me know in the comments or via twitter. Capital Bikeshare currently doesn’t allow users to export their own data in batch or via API. It’s a screen scrape right now.

I’m more of a walker than a biker, but still, 90 trips in 2015 is more than I thought I’d taken. Plus the map demonstrates that indeed I did ride to Shirlington, the magical planned place of the future (writing about that in an upcoming post).

Ted Eytan, MD