February blog Visualisation – Contours and Lines

February blog Visualisation – Contours and Lines

Data visualisation has come a long way. In 1854 John Snow found the correlation between quality of the water source and cholera cases (Royal College of Surgeons, 2016) by mapping the locations of the deaths caused by Cholera (Chartable, 2019) which provided detailed statistical analysis also an efficient way of showing this correlation (Royal College of Surgeons, 2016)

Since John Snow actually knew something (Game of Thrones reference) data visualisation has evolved from maps to excel spreadsheets and bar graphs, pie charts and tables, all of which are very effective in conveying data visually and to this day still are.  With there being new techniques and datasets to view, knowing what can be used can be a bit of a minefield.   

We have decided to run a blog through 2020 showing different ways in which data can be visualised, from static maps, to animations, stay tuned to see how we can use data exported from our TRACC and Highways Analyst products in new and exciting ways! 

First up, is an example of a driving travel time to the Roman Baths located in Bath, using a contour which was produced in TRACC and some average speed data created using Highways Analyst.  The contour map was combined with the average speed links and then customised further using another GIS application. This is a simple yet effective way of displaying large amounts of data, particularly travel time data. 

Contour maps also achieve a good level of clarity as the ease of customising with contours helps the ranges standout against each other and provide an easy way to make quick judgements on trends for travel time analysis.  

This method can also be combined with other techniques to enhance outputs even further. In this case we added a speed dataset (Trafficmaster) in the form of a line map on top of the travel time contour. Making line maps very valuable when it comes to displaying spatial and temporal data. 

By merging the two methods together you can get a better insight on how congestion patterns can affect so then this would be help us to plan our journey. 

Keep your eyes peeled for our next blog in March!


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