MIT Student Builds Real-Time Transit Map for His Wall

Shaunacy Ferro
Ian Reynolds via Medium
Ian Reynolds via Medium / Ian Reynolds via Medium

Posters of Bob Marley aren’t enough for the walls of Ian Reynolds’ college apartment. Instead of the usual dorm room decor, his space boasts a transit map. Not just any regular paper map, but a glowing, real-time map of where Boston’s “T” is traveling across the city.

Reynolds, who’s getting his degree in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT, synced up colored lights to GPS data from Boston’s transit agency so that they flash with the trains’ locations every 10 seconds or so.

Light Rail from Ian Reynolds on Vimeo.

“The MBTA is a big part of life in Boston, and I built this as sort of a love letter to the transit system that we all know and love (to hate),” he wrote on Reddit

The map is a simplified version of the actual MBTA map, and it doesn’t feature any stations, so it’s not going to help Reynolds figure out when to start sprinting for the subway. But it’s sure to serve as quite the conversation piece whenever he throws a party. 

[h/t: CityLab]