This Map Shows You Exactly Where All Those L.A. Commuters Are Going
Rush hour brings out the worst in people. Remember when that driver almost Zamboni-ed a cyclist? Or when these guys played an IRL game of Punch-Out on Highland Avenue? If you want to see a John Carpenter-style dystopian future, just drive through the 110/10 interchange at 8 a.m.
Will there ever be a solution? The first step, maybe, is empathy--to realize that we're all in this together.
This week Curbed LA posted a series of graphics depicting commuter patterns around the county. Hopefully those moving dots can remind us that there are people in all those cars, and, hey, we're all just trying to get to work on time (and maybe filch the last everything bagel at Starbucks before someone else does)!
The commuting visuals were developed by Mark Evans, who has an affinity for "new visualizations and data analytics techniques," according to his website. He developed commuter visualizations not just for major metropolitan cities, but for tucked-away counties as well. In the graphics, the color-coded dots represent clusters of commuters as they move from home to their workplace, and vice versa. The colors signify the counties they hail from. The size of the dots represent the number of commuters.
Here's the visualization for people living outside of the L.A. County coming into the county for work:
Much of the Los Angeles visualizations come as no surprise. Tons of people migrate towards the general vicinity of downtown, for instance. A few things did pique our curiosity, however. There seems to be a large cluster of commuters going to the Lancaster area for work. LAist staff writer Matt Tinoco's theory is that the military industries out there--including Edwards Air Force Base--account for a good chunk of the work force. Other major employers out there include the Antelope Valley Mall and a state prison. Welcome to America!
Other observations we made:
1. That commute from Catalina Island must be real scenic (and maybe kind of a drag).
2. Some San Diegans would rather endure the two-hour commute to L.A. than actually living in L.A. How offensive.
Other than the educational value, the visualizations also provide a good reason to stare at your computer monitor for long lengths of time. Evans said that, "The resulting animations are somewhat hypnotic (even my dog seemed to go into a trance watching them leading to minutes of human amusement)."
What has Evans learned from his pet project? "I've been astonished at the distances involved in many of these workers," Evans wrote to us via email. "I personally hate commuting and consider it a waste of 'life-time'. I'm sure people have good reasons, but I think they'd all be much happier if they lived close to work (or worked close to home)."
To develop the visuals Evans used data compiled from the American Community Survey, which is conducted by the US Census Bureau to "help local officials, community leaders and businesses understand the changes taking place in their communities."
Check out Evans' blog here. He's got visualizations for pretty much every nook and cranny in America.