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New iPhone app Tunnel Vision brings the New York City subway map to life

The New York City subway map can be brought to life with a new iPhone application developed by an NYU student.

The New York City subway map can be brought to life with a new iPhone application.

Tunnel Vision turns the distinctive subway map into an interactive experience using data from the U.S. Census and Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

tunnel vision app subway mta map The app uses MTA data.
Credit: Tunnel Vision screengrab

By simply pointing their phones at the map, app users can track train movements in real-time, see how many riders are entering and exiting stations and visualize nearby median rent and population density.

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William Lindmeier developed the free app this past semester as his graduate thesis project. He said he became interested in data visualizations as a student in the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU.

"I wanted to create a portrait of NYC through data," Lindmeier said in an email. "Using the map as a platform seemed like a good fit because it's so integral to life as a New Yorker."

Essentially, the app uses image detection to recognize portions of the subway map and calculate the relative location of stations and associated data.

tunnel vision app subway mta map The app uses data from the U.S. Census.
Credit: Tunnel Vision screengrab

The app is less of a "way-finding app" than a tool for understanding what's happening throughout and around the subway system, Lindmeier said.

"The app provides a way of exploring the neighborhoods and people that make up the city," he said.

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter @AnnaESanders

 
 
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