Cities: Skylines Bus Depot Simulation

The game Cities: Skylines, released in 2015, allows players to take command of urban planning and simulate a various aspects of a city. A player might teak the traffic, zoning, and aesthetics that accompany real life urban efforts.

This video captures the operation of a bus depot I created in Cities: Skylines

The design incorporated a one-way design which helps traffic flow along 5 entry and 5 exit ramps the help mitigate traffic when the buses travel en masse out of the terminal and into the city.

This design is similar to the Charlotte Transportation Center and it functions in the same manner. All transfers take place in the terminal and busses and sent directly to the specified areas.

The Charlotte Transportation Center (CTC) featuring easily accesible commercial properties

In the simulated design a subway line and an elevated pedestrian footpath further increases the citizens’ reach. Shops and offices also take advantage of this high traffic area.

The Alternative Olympic Scoreboards

With the end of the 31st Olympiad, another chapter is closed in the book of international sporting. While the games primary function is international bonding and celebrating sport and athleticism, the resulting medal tally draws quite a bit of attention.

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The final medal count of the 2016 Rio Olympics courtesy of Google

The above table is the medal count you’re probably familiar with. The countries are listed in descending order by number of golds with silver medals acting as a tie-breaker and bronze functioning as a tie-breaker for silver counts.

Google Trends set up a medal count that takes the differing demographics of the participating countries and ranks them according to their performance under these alternative metrics.

Alternative Olympics medal table

You might here some people throwing around the “per capita” line of reasoning when considering the medal count. This takes into account the population of countries and contrasts that with the medal count.

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Every country’s count adjusted for the same population

According to this ranking the Bahamas is the winner of the “per capita Olympics”. With a total of 1 gold and a population of 377,374, the Bahamas gold count would be fifty times as much if the count was adjusted for population. Jamaica also makes an appearance in this particular top 10 list. With a larger population, you will naturally have a larger pool of athletes. Some will argue that this gives countries with large populations like the United States, China, and Russia a talent advantage.

Every country’s count adjusted for the same GDP

In this metric, the count is adjusted for every countries GDP, gross domestic product. This is the capacity of a country to produce goods and capital. We can see that Fiji’s 1 gold goes a long way in this metric. Fiji’s GDP annually is $3.855 billion dollars. With the relatively smaller pool of money, the nation will have relatively less to spend on facilities and sporting programs compared to the >$17 trillion-dollar GDP of the United States. The collegiate sports programs are a large part of fielding the United State’s Olympic athletes and without these resources and capital, the argument of value per medal can be made. Kosovo makes an interesting appearance at the 11th position in this graph.

Other metrics on the sites include adjusting the count for Google search volume per country, the amount of fans, and a healthy eating metric. These are new ways to interpret demographics and public data to provide different perspectives on the results of the games.

Mapping the Rio Olympics

It’s Olympic time again and the London games feel like they were just yesterday. 4 years have past since the last meet of the sporting elite and we’re more connected geographically than ever.

Gold might be on your mind. Gold medals are certainly on the mind of many athletes from all corners of the world. In the United States, 554 athletes should up to test their mettle and win Olympic glory.

The following maps are interesting representations of the the 2016 Olympic Games


USA Today – Rio Olympics interactive: Where are Team USA athletes from?


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“Where are Team USA athletes from?”


This map classifies the United States into 6 seperate classes depending on how many athletes each state sent to the Olympic Games. Published in USA Today, this interactive map sheds some light on what parts of the country our athletes like to call home.

We can see the Olympic bulwark of California dominated the amount of Olympians sent. The usual suspects; New York, Florida, Texas, and Chicago, the large population centers of the United States, are well represented. Interesting to note is the inclusion of the “WW” designation on the map. These are athletes that are competeing on the behalf of Team USA without actually residing in the country.


Google Trends – Explore realtime Google trends as the Olympic torch travels across Brazil


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The route of the Rio 2016 Olympic torch in Brazil


Google Trends is a great source for data and since day 1 of the Olympics they’ve been highlighting interesting data patterns. This particular compilation of geographic data represents the path the Olympic torch traveled before it arrived in Rio de Janeiro to ceremonially start the Olympic games. The route took over 3 months.

It would be interesting to see how much of the Brazilian population lives with twenty, fifty, and one hundred miles of the torch. The route should bring the festivities to as many people as possible as geographically possible. This type of analysis could be easily done with GIS software.

Pokemon Go and GIS

Pokemon Go is a phenomena the reignited the Pokemon craze in a similar way as the release of the game 18 years ago. The nostalgia bug seems to be biting everyone as people are coming out of the woodwork back into the world of pokemon to collect and battle the original 150 monsters.

This has led to many interesting geospatial developments. The nature of the game requires the user to maintain a constant GPS connection to their smart phone while the app looks for Pokemon and other interactive objects in the augmented reality of the Pokemon GO world.

Esri has its hand in the Pokemon GO pie. They had supported a project called Pokevision which used the Pokemon GO API to project Pokemon in real time as they were spawning around the world. Pokevision’s life was cut short as Niantic, the developers of Pokemon GO announced they weren’t going to support services like this.


The Pokevision website and its map interface

Users have also taken it upon themselves to start crowdsourcing geographic data at a rate that hasn’t ever been seen before. We’ve come a long way since geocaching and you’re more likely than ever to see someone walking around with their head in their phone, following a trail of digital breadcrumbs.

One of the more famous user-generated maps would the one to come out Boston. Supported by google maps and displaying to individual submissions of thousands of users, this map has become the best example of just how much data can be crowdsourced manually.

Unfortunately the map is private so I’m unable to embed it. It supports all the regular Google Maps functionality.

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Boston’s Crowdsourced Pokemon Go Map

As people get more and more familiar with the geographic aspects of the game, I suspect we’ll see more projects like this emerging. Even now people are fiddling with geographic information more than ever thanks to this game. Hopefully it will bring a new generation of geographic minds into the fold.