Data visualization is one of our favorite topics here at StreetLight Data. Since we first got started in 2011, our team has iterated on countless visualization options for our transportation analytics. Bar graphs and heat maps have long served as our trusty standbys – but these days, we’re thinking bigger. In our latest software release, we added two brand-new visualization types to StreetLight InSight®: the “heat matrix” and the “chord diagram.” You can join our upcoming training session to find out how these new visualizations work. In this blog article, I’ll share five fascinating chord diagrams to show you why they’re becoming my #1 go-to StreetLight InSight visualization. (New to StreetLight Data? StreetLight InSight is our on-demand transportation analytics platform.)
So, why get so excited about a new type of diagram? Well, chord diagrams are a particularly powerful tool for analyzing complex, interconnected data streams. Unlike travel pattern heat maps, our chord diagrams allow you to quickly comprehend the magnitude of different flows, and compare the flow of traffic between several areas at once. The thickness is more intuitive for comparing total trip volume and scale than colors on a heat map. As you’ll see in the examples that follow, chord diagrams are useful not only for transportation but for all types of data analysis.