Iron Viz: Europe 2018 – European Cities

This was originally posted on my first blog, Data vs Food, in March 2018

I entered the Iron Viz: Europe in 2017 and I thought I’d enter again this year. Once the topic was announced (European Cities) I spent ages trying to find a theme and a data set. My initial idea was to look at tallest buildings in European cities but after some playing around I wasn’t sure what I was trying to show with it, and to be honest the theme just didn’t interest me a whole lot. I also had a look at some data around city size through history but I had a feeling the visualisation might spiral out of control and the idea was possibly a little too large in scope.

After more than a few days of pondering, playing around with Tableau and seeing what I could come up with, I decided to create something about Metro Systems. Growing up in London, I’ve used the Underground all my life (both my parents used to work there) and I have a strange sort of affection for it, almost regardless of any delays! This viz is inspired, in part, by the London tube map.

The dataset grew as I worked on my viz, I started with 8 columns and ended up with 17, most of this was taken from Wikipedia. I knew I wanted something long form and straight away I thought of including a timeline/tubeline running down one side with “stations” for each metro system.

Once I was almost complete and scrolling through it, I felt it lacked a little shape. I went back to some images that I was using for inspiration and decided to emulate the zones from the Underground map. This created grey bands to split up the viz into more bite size sections and make it easier to read.

Here’s a link to the final visualisation

Scroll to the bottom of the page for an image of the visualisation.

I also exported images of my viz as it progressed (and when I remembered), click on the images to see how it evolved.