It’s in the Data: TRANSient Beta.

transient banner

My text editor doesn’t spoil many secrets, its title bar simply glows “stop_times.txt – nycsubway”. Below that, lines of gibberish seem to cascade downward endlessly, patterns coyly exposing themselves in streaks of data as I scroll down violently. In one file hides every single stop, made by every single train, running along every single route of the MTA New York City Subway. There are a few other files in the folder that can help describe some nuances, but stop_times.txt reigns supreme in its overwhelming size. One text file that *is* the entire Subway. At last count, it’s 522,670 lines long. I could spend my entire summer just scrolling that far, surely rubbing the pads of my fingers down to the bone in the process, but my plans are slightly more ambitious, slightly less crazy.