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Tokyo Transit Looks Like Light Art in This 3D Visualizer

Watch Japan's metro system pulse and glow in real time WebGL experience 'Metrogram3d.'

by Beckett Mufson
02 March 2015, 4:00pm

All images via

At the personal level, your daily commute might seem tedious, even mind-numbing. But on a macroscopic scale, public transit generates a whole lot of data that can become beautiful when put into the right hands. Case in point, Japanese web developer Null Design takes data from the Tokyo Metro and transforms it into a gorgeous 3D universe of colorful pathways, glowing orbs, and a spacey journey into the aether with Metrogram3d.

In the WebGL experience, viewers can follow individual trains in real time, represented in lines that look like light paintings. While it offers a small note at the bottom that names each metro line on-screen, it's otherwise abstract—more an eye-pleasing visualization than a useable map—but a fertile example of the creativy possibilities for the intersection between urban living and the infrastructures that enable it. 

For a visual experience that's still beautiful, but a bit more relatable to everyday maps, try the precursor to Metrogram3d, which is just called Metrogram. And for a sonic tour of a New York City subway line, check out Two Trains.

Big data and art converge in the first installment of our Reform video series, Data Becomes Art In Immersive Visualizations:

Visit Null Design's website for more beautiful visualizations.

Via Google Maps Mania

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