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This Colorful Map Shows Metro Detroit Commuters in Action

Prepare to be mesmerized

Looking for a way to make your commute more exciting? Visualize yourself as a bright dot among many along our freeways.

Ann Arbor-based blogger Mark Evans created a mesmerizing map visualizing commutes all over the country. He used data from the American Community Survey (ACS), which includes U.S. Census information on where people live, work, and their mode of transportation.

You can use any state or county to work with.

According to Mark, "The points are sized based on the number of commuters, so a large dot indicates a higher relative number of commuters moving from the same tract to the same tract. The dots are also color coded to see which counties are most represented in the commuter sample."

The colorful dots each represent a different county (green = Wayne, orange = Washtenaw, yellow = Oakland, purple = Macomb, blue = other)

And where they work.

Mark was kind enough to make us some gifs to put the map in action.

This one shows commuters who live in different counties but work in Wayne County.

This one shows where commuters living in Wayne County travel for work.

You can play around with all sorts of different distances, parameters, and geographic areas. There's also a tab for our own Loveland, which can bring out even more census data.

Now, can we imagine how different this map would look if we had clear, organized public transit in these counties?