An LA Traffic Story: Visualizing the Commute


For all that live in the LA basin, this informative animation will be far too familiar. Long distances between all the great things to do in the area, combined with quickly stopping traffic on freeways like the 405 and 5, create roads that are often at a standstill. Waze, in collaboration with Gray Area Foundation and artist Nik Hanselmann, created this animation of hazards and traffic as reported by Waze users. Beginning at 5pm and ending 24 hours later the data really begins to explode as people rush to work around 7am. It’s a sobering look at driving conditions in the City of Angels.

Waze is “a social mobile application providing free turn-by-turn navigation based on the live conditions of the road.” It’s available for most mobile devices.

Hanselmann’s words: “I had the oppurtunity of visualizing 24 hours of waze’s Los Angeles traffic data. Waze’s data is great because it doesn’t just rely on passive traffic sources, but users of the Waze application itself.

What you’re looking at is a combination of Waze alerts entered in by Waze users as well as passive traffic data. The pulsating circles are alerts — users reporting hazards, traffic jams, highway patrol, and communicating with one another (represented as other). The lines are trips made by Waze users — they first appear in white (once the trip has been completed) and fade to gray.”

Make sure to watch the morning commute (starts at about a minute in, ~6 am LA time).

Watch the video


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