Paul Truong (AKA Monocubed)

I'm a Creative Technologist at Google and like to create things with equal parts design & code.

The more I learn from these disciplines, the more I appreciate how similar their processes are.

More importantly, I've come to realise that the most significant results are cultivated in the space where these two meet.

This blog delves into this concept.

Elsewhere, you'll find me chirping on twitter, snapping on Instagram (currently viewable via tumblr and flickr) and uploading work-in-progress on dribbble to name a few destinations.

I also speak occasionally on subjects related to the modern browser - for enquiries please email


Boris Bikes API provides a data feed for how the London Cycle Hire stations are being used. This feed is updated every minute with information on the number of bicycles that are available for hire at each station and how many remaining docks are available for parking. Google Maps provides an API for creating custom overlays which allows for a variety of content ~ including HTML5 canvas . The above visualisation places dynamically drawn markers (custom overlays with a canvas element) on Google maps. As well as indicating the location of a cycle station, each marker visually represents the station capacity (volume of the marker) and available cycles (amount of marker filled with red). The markers are redrawn every minute. {Update: 26th October 2010} This app has been updated to v2. An additional mode, “24 HRS”,  allows users to scrub through 24 hours worth of cycle hire data revealing transport patterns in London.

Having looked at the app (on different days of the week and at various times) I noticed a pattern in the way the bikes were distributed as the day progressed – this would be most obvious between Mondays through to Fridays.

The guess was that as Londoners made their way into work, they would transport more bikes from the outer zones into the central zones. Conversely, as they leave work in the evening, one expects a mass movement of bikes from the central zones to the outer ones.

I started to store the live feed I was getting since last Friday. Now that it’s Tuesday I finally have data which represents a normal working day in London (i.e. yesterday). The app has been updated with the HTML5 date and range input elements so you can pick a date (automatically set to yesterday) and scrub through that days worth of cycle hire data.

Pay attention to what happens to bicycle density during the rush hours in London (7-9am and 6-8pm).

There is currently data going back to the 23rd October.
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