Networks and connections are everywhere in our lives, and they are the foundation of ideas, creativity and innovation. A truly innovative city is built on top of a connected, and resilient transportation system.
We were motivated to uncover the patterns and the structure of the networks in Boston bus system by combining geographic information system census data with other data sets, using the foundations of graph theory and modern technological tools.
After developing a method for creating representations of networks, we were motivated to discover what other data sets contained the connections that tell the story of Boston Neighborhoods. In addition to the network structure of the bus system, we were able to discover patterns of contractors who continually work together in building permit data, and create a visualization of the data from 10,000 records in the RunKeeper application.
We believe that network science can help city planners and managers to make decisions about where infrastructure and routes are least resilient, and prioritizing the routes that are most central in connecting the outer nodes in the network.