I love Chris McDowall’s animated map of Auckland’s buses and ferries.

An animated map of Auckland’s public transport network from Chris McDowall on Vimeo.

“The animation begins at 3am on a typical Monday morning. A pair of blue squiggles depict the Airport buses shuttling late night travellers between the Downtown Ferry Terminal and Auckland International. From 5am, a skeleton service of local buses begins making trips from the outer suburbs to the inner city and the first ferry departs for Waiheke Island. Over the next few hours the volume and frequency of vehicles steadily increases until we reach peak morning rush hour. By 8am the city’s major transportation corridors are clearly delineated by a stream of buses filled with commuters. After 9am the volume of vehicles drops a little and stays steady until the schools get out and the evening commute begins. The animation ends at midnight with just a few night buses moving passengers away from the central city.”

Some things to note:
The steady pulse of the Devonport Ferry.
The speed at which buses hurtle down the Northern Motorway’s new bus lanes.
The interplay between buses and ferries on Waiheke Island.
The sheer mind-boggling complexity of the system.

Chris describes the process (and a few limitations he found with it) over on his blog at sciblogs.co.nz. Also worth checking out his website: http://fogonwater.com/.