Explore places and transport patterns in Melbourne

We have been exploring ways to visualise spatial demographics and transport data and the result is this shiny dashboard.  We built this to demonstrate some of the ways open data can be used for business questions, and also as an example for our recent googleway talk at the Melbourne R users group.

About the dataset

Each year the Victorian Government carries out the Victorian Integrated Survey of Travel and Acitivities (VISTA).

VISTA is the basis of a lot of transport modelling and urban planning.  The beauty of VISTA is that is is statistically sampled and weighted, so we can use it to estimate the actual number of people and trips that happen in Melbourne annually.

We are part of the team that carried out the survey since 2012 (the project has been managed by Ipsos).  We generate the sample, provide statistical advice, data imputation and checking.

VISTA collects information on everything that a person does in a day - all their travel (even walking the dog). It asks where they go and why they go there.  The data set is publicly available here.  We've used the 2012 data set for this dashboard.

Exploring the data

Symbolix 2017. Click to view full dashboard

Symbolix 2017. Click to view full dashboard

This dashboard is an example of the sort of information that VISTA provides.  We can choose a region of Melbourne (a polygon) and get an estimate of the number of trips that travel to that area.  We can see where the visitors are coming from (colours on the map and table of numbers), what sort of places they are going and their journey purpose.  

We generated the heatmap by generating paths from the journey start to end. This is a demo, so we are limiting the view to the most common trip paths. This lets us see where congestion might happen, or get an idea of how many people would be affected if a certain road or highways was closed.


Please have a look around the dashboard and let us know in the comments if you have any questions or would like us to add something.  We'd love to hear your ideas.

Symbolix 2017. Click to view full dashboard

Symbolix 2017. Click to view full dashboard