"What SFMTA does, it never stops," he tells SFist. "It's a massive orchestration of a lot of different people and assets, and I think people lose sight of that. I thought this would be a neat reminder."
Using CartoDB, Whalen created the moving map below by employing the GTSS or General Transit Feed Specification numbers published by SFMTA. Pulling those into a database, he then wrote a query that asked for the time, latitude, and longitude of every stop made by any bus on SFMTA routes on a given weekday. Whalen capped the map off by adding a loop to emphasize the Monday to Friday day-in, day-out cycle. What you see, then, is SFMTA service flying at its ideal speed without any pesky service interruptions.
Remix, as Whalen explains his company, builds software to plan cities and has created a tool for transit planners that lets them plan out their routes visually. "I spend basically all of my time working with transit data and thinking about transit systems," says Whalen. Easy to understand why he took on the task of building this map, then. Remix, which graduated with Y Combinator's Winter 2015 cohort, was founded by four Code For America fellows hoping to improve public transit systems. "The tools are very limited," Whalen says, "They're spreadsheets and paper, so we built [Remix] out with feedback from a number of transit planners all over the country."
You'll find Whalen's SFMTA visualization below. My favorite detail, by the way, has to be the 25 Bus that pops up on Treasure Island right on schedule.