With spring just around the corner, I revisited an old project looking at commuter flows in England with a vague idea about making them into some kind of flower. The data was taken from Census 2011 Flow data and origin-destination cumulative flows were calculated. These flows were then routed along road networks and tension was applied to the lines to create nice smooth curves. Each curve was given a weight according to the number of people commuting along it and extruded vertically to create a kind of 3d petal.
This project relies on data being heavily manipulated and I guess sits more in the '‘Data Art’ sphere than anything too insightful. But each flower for each of the top 50 cities in the below images is based on real data, abstractions have been made and the data is somewhat generalised through the routing/tension process but patterns do emerge. Thick stems pointing towards specific directions show the emphasis on commuter flows for the region - beautiful yet meaningful
Having just completed England’s Commuter Garden I reached out to Twitter to see if anyone had any ideas for other Commuter Gardens. Maarten Lambrechts suggested doing something with Belgium’s commuter data which he kindly shared and Alasdair Rae suggested using one of his past projects on US megaregions.
I’ve only managed to produce Belgiums’s Commuter Garden up to now as the megaregion data is vast but the workflow is set up to create North America’s Garden. In the meantime enjoy Belgium in Bloom! Bonus points for guessing the film that inspired the animations at the bottom.