Scampersand was invited to participate in Hack(RI) as a pro team. We love our little state⁠—and can’t resist a challenge⁠—so we took a few days off and built an award-winning demo.

Hacking for Rhode Island

The RIPTA bus system radiates from Providence to all corners of the state. Every day, thousands of riders depend on RIPTA for their commutes. In 2016 RIPTA upgraded their available data to include a realtime GTFS API with bus progress and delay information. Working with RIPTA, IntraCity Geeks organized a statewide hackathon to see what could be built using the new API.

What does the data look like? How does it change over time? We set out to answer these questions by building an animated visualization of the buses traveling their routes. Since the API provides instant but not historical data, we started collecting the minute-by-minute updates, then used D3.js to project the coordinates on a map.

We were thrilled when our hackathon demo won the Hortonworks big data award! Head on over to to explore a day in the life of RIPTA.

  • Hack Notes

  • D3.js with geo projections
  • Click to zoom on routes
  • Fully responsive design

Information Design • UI Design • D3.js Development