This is a pretty awesome bit of mapping / data visualisation. The bike share map globally locates and depicts the scale of the various bike share schemes across the world. It allows you to zoom in and investigate the location of specific stations and bike availability – all the more remarkable as the data is essentially real-time, being updated every 2-10 minutes. Animations of the last few days’ are available and great for reading some of the patterns of central cities.

It’s been put together by UCL’s Centre for Advanced Spatial Studies (CASA) which is a pretty amazing place to find examples of innovative urban mapping and visualisation. Chances are some of the things you may have daydreamed about as a student have been realised in some form or other – the example linked collated over 16 million public transport transactions to visualise a working day in London.

What occurs to me about the bike share map, in this PRISM-aware age, is that it’s another digitised tool for monitoring your movement (given your credit card is required for access). Such information will probably eventually be used by advertisers, further changing the shape of the city, and indeed much is already willingly provided to companies. There may also be less banal outcomes, such as solving crimes perhaps… I await the first high-profile case where the key alibi is “But I was on me rental bike, Guv’”.

Anyway, putting aside new-wave-Orwell and returning to cycling: in New Zealand and perhaps particularly Auckland, we’ve got a long way to go. Auckland Transport have developed a Regional Cycleways map and there are some great advocacy groups and resources, but a cycling critical mass still feels a way off. One project with some momentum that will make a significant improvement is the Skypath, a proposed shared-use path that clips on to the side of the harbour bridge.