2017 GIS in Transit Conference

Mark Your Calendar!
10th National GIS in Transit Conference
September 6-8, 2017
(Labor Day is Sept 4)
Washington, DC 


Call for Abstracts – coming soon

Exhibitor & Sponsor Information – coming soon



The National Center for Transit Research, Urban and Regional Information Systems Association and the Transportation Research Board are pleased to announce the 10th National GIS in Transit Conference, taking place September 6-8, 2017 in Washington, DC!


Managing data to drive decision making has never been more important.  As large data systems are capturing significant performance, operational and planning data in the transit industry.  These data can improve decision making, service evaluation, customer satisfaction, operational efficiency and overall system performance. At the core of many of these data are spatial elements, that describe the location of relevant transit data.  Transit boardings, customer location, activity centers, assets and transit service.  Geographic Information Systems (GIS) provides a unique platform for organizing, evaluating and communicating data; transforming data into information.  This conference will bring experts from around the country on how GIS is being used everyday to improve transit systems.  The conference will provide a breadth of GIS experiences to showcase how agencies of all sizes and budgets are managing its GIS data and improving transit service and ultimately customer service.


Welcome to the National Center for Transit Research (NCTR) at CUTR Transit GIS Clearinghouse Website

Welcome to the National Center for Transit Research (NCTR) at the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) Transit GIS Clearinghouse website.

The purpose of the Clearinghouse website is to be a first stop for all things transit and GIS. The Clearinghouse will highlight the growing needs and opportunities available to transit GIS professionals and provide resources to assist transit agencies to become more efficient and responsive.

The Clearinghouse will provide four major areas of assistance:

Photo courtesy of www.seefloridago.com

Photo courtesy of www.seefloridago.com

1) Resources and Training: The Clearinghouse will host live net conferences, a bi-annual national transit GIS conference, and a transit GIS listserv, which will serve as a forum for professionals to share and consult with their peers and assist with GIS tasks and planning.  In addition, the Clearinghouse will provide a searchable inventory of reports and studies from such institutions as the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), and the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies.

2) Data: To help control the costs of acquiring and managing data, the Clearinghouse will assist GIS newcomers by providing tutorials for accessing large datasets.

3) Techniques and Models: This section of the Clearinghouse will support GIS users by providing them with tools to conduct GIS analysis. Best practices for collecting, managing, and analyzing transit specific data will be made available. Some examples include data models for bus stop inventories and transit routes.

4) Analysis: The Clearinghouse will also create a series of white papers to examine the cutting edge and controversial issues surrounding transit GIS.  Some potential topics are as follows: identifying GIS standards for transit; transit planning using the new dataset from the Longitudinal Employment Household Dynamics from the  U.S. Census; integrating automatic passenger counters with transit planning; identification of bus rapid transit corridors; open source GIS mapping opportunities for transit GIS; and examining the legal issues surrounding remotely sensed data.

The website is designed and updated by the CUTR GIS team headed by Martin Catala and Martin Akerman. The GIS team consists of Jeanette Achillich and Christopher Cochran.

We hope the Clearinghouse website addresses your transit needs and we look forward to your suggestions/comments.

Zillow Neighborhood Boundaries

This data can certainly be very useful!
The team from Zillow has created over 7000 neighborhood boundaries across North America. The data is available in the shapefile format and includes fields for the state, county, neighborhood name and region ID.

Click here to learn more and access the data!

And the winner is …. The Square Pie Chart


Pie charts are both adored and hated for their simplistic functionality. The general consensus seems to be that they are useful however, they are to many limitations. Nonetheless, the argument beckons for which form of pie chart can be proven to be the undisputed champion. In a study by Robert Kosara and student Caroline Ziemkiewicz they have done an analysis of the square, stacked bar, pie and donut charts. If you are new to the concept of filling a square to represent your data let us just say … it is very likely you are not alone.

It is common that the use of the square pie chart is not often correctly used, however it has many benefits over the other forms. Definitely, above and beyond the bar that represents two (2) data sets and resembles the loading status of most 19th century games.

Well without further adieu I invite you to read the enlightening article illustrating why the square pie chart is ahead of the curve.

Click to read read more

Visualizing MBTA Data

This article entitled, “An interactive exploration of Boston’s Subway System” presents an insightful and microscopic view of subway operations.



With the innovative method of visualizing GTFS data, it is possible to understand the subway system better than we ever have before. These tools are not only valuable for a microscopic view of the transit  operations but can allow for commuters to use the  system more efficiently.

Please click here to view article.

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