Michael Schade

Michael Schade mug


Michael Schade is Mobility Lab’s Senior Tech Advisor, serving as our liaison to the tech community.

After graduating with a degree in computer science from the University of Colorado, he moved to Washington D.C. to work for the federal government. He is a programmer and a self-professed “transit nerd” with a keen interest in urban planning. An avid cyclist, he explores how data can be used to help study and improve biking conditions. He has created several web-based programs for Mobility Lab that bring to life data from various transportation modes, including Capital Bikeshare and Metro.

Michael created the Transportation Techies meetup group in order to build a community of other coders who love creating apps and data visualizations. The group is a place for people with common interests to meet face-to-face, and has gotten participation from local and federal government transportation agencies, as well as independent developers, startups, and DIY coders.

His Twitter handle is @mvs202.

CaBi Hack Night 2 Brings Out Nerds Who Love Bikesharing

Transit data reveals patterns about our community, but no other system in the Washington D.C. region (or perhaps in the nation) makes it as easy for people to access the raw data and crunch the numbers on their own as Capital Bikeshare. Ever since CaBi started releasing trip-history data, professional analysts and hobbyists alike have… Read more »

Capital Bikeshare’s Regional Approach is a Winning Formula

People who ride the Washington D.C. region’s Capital Bikeshare system tend to ignore geopolitical boundaries. And that can be advantageous to the jurisdictions that feature the bikesharing program. CaBi, as it’s popularly known, was begun as a joint venture between the District and Arlington, Virginia, back in 2010. Two years later, Alexandria, Virginia joined the… Read more »

Transportation Techies Show What Can Be Done With Bike Data

How can you use data to explore biking? The Transportation Techies Meetup group recently examined the possibilities. Five presentations at our first Bike Hack Night showed the range of what can be done with bike data. Ironman Tim Kelley (also a Mobility Lab contributor) showed us how he uses Strava to visualize his bike trips. You’ve probably seen… Read more »

Modeling Bikesharing in Aspen, Colorado

Bikesharing has its roots in big cities like Paris, London, and Montreal, but the real sign of success is when it takes hold in smaller towns. Aspen, Colorado is the first mountain town to offer bikesharing, with We-Cycle. Last summer, it opened with 13 stations. Coloradans have already seen bikesharing in Denver and Boulder. To… Read more »

Which Metro Line Best Connects You to Shops and Restaurants?

Metro serves an important role for people who are car-free. And in fact, those 106 miles of track make it possible for many people to be car-free in the first place. But Metro is only one half of the equation; you still need the places you visit to be physically close to the Metro station…. Read more »

Arlington’s Orange Line Transit-Oriented Development, In Photos

On a recent frigid morning, Mobility Lab led a walking tour of Arlington’s famous Orange Line TOD Corridor from Clarendon to Rosslyn. We discussed Clarendon’s history and evolution, including its founding as a trolley development; and listened to some presentations at the County Building from the County’s Office of Planning and Transportation Department staff about… Read more »

An Open Data Standard Would Help Public Discover Bikesharing

Should the bikeshare industry adopt an open data standard? As bikesharing spreads to more cities, having a common method for accessing and analyzing data will become more important. We know that transit systems work best when agencies concentrate on their core mission. Transit agencies are not in the information technology business; all they should do… Read more »

Techies Work to Merge Data From Multiple Transit Agencies

We’ve all used apps for planning trips using transit, but have you ever thought about what it takes to write one of these apps? The Transportation Techies Meetup group recently invited coders to share their stories about creating programs that consume data from multiple transit agencies and blend the results together. Because transit agencies tend to… Read more »

Fly In for a Bird’s-Eye View of Capital Bikeshare

The best views of Washington are undoubtedly from above, on flights to and from National Airport. When I saw the aerial photo taken by Dan Macy, I knew I had to use it as the background for a map. Visit the Birds-eye view of CaBi stations app and see if you enjoy the view as… Read more »

Explore the Links Between Weather and Capital Bikeshare Ridership

In Washington D.C., we’re lucky to get a new chunk of Capital Bikeshare trip history data every quarter. For the end of the year, I created a new tool for examining the data from 2013. How does the weather affect ridership? How similar are CaBi ridership patterns to regular cyclists in the area? How similar… Read more »

Techies Tackle WMATA Data at Metro Hack Night

You can’t talk about transit in the D.C. region without talking about WMATA. The new Transportation Techies group dedicated our latest meetup to sharing projects that explore data from and about Metrorail and Metrobus. Here’s what we learned at Metro Hack Night. Before getting started, we settled in with a game of Metro Hangman, in which… Read more »

Capital Bikeshare Hackers Pedal Their Wares at Mobility Lab

The Washington region has a new home for programmers who love playing with transportation data. The Transportation Techies meetup group welcomes technologists and the “code curious” to our meetings, which will mostly be show & tell demos of cool apps and visualizations. Our debut meetup explored cool programs built around Capital Bikeshare’s open data. The… Read more »

Calling All Nerds! Our Transportation Techies Group is Launching

Calling all nerds! Are you a programmer who loves open data, data visualizations, and mapping? Can you use your skills to help people find healthy, efficient, and sustainable transportation options? Mobility Lab has launched a Meetup group to nurture innovations in transportation. The Transportation Techies group is building a community of technology experts who love… Read more »

D.C. Options Highlighted at “Transportation in the City”

At Wednesday night’s exciting Smart Growth America event at 1776, Mobility Lab Director Tom Fairchild joined a distinguished panel to discuss how the Washington D.C. is getting easier and easier to navigate with a host of options that don’t have to include drive-alone car trips.

New Map Tool Shows Range of Capital Bikeshare Trips

A new map – called the CaBi Range – should interest users of the Washington D.C. bikeshare system, Capital Bikeshare. The map shows all the stations you can bike to in 30 minutes or less, highlighting those stations in green, as well as the routes you would take to get there. Stations beyond the time… Read more »

Market Mapper Shows Farmers Markets Near You

Want a fun way to combine exercise and healthy eating? The Market Mapper application helps you find nearby farmers markets, and makes it easy to get biking directions. I created the program after discovering the U.S. Department of Agriculture had released an API that lets anyone browse its database of the thousands of farmers markets… Read more »

Comparing Driving to Transit in the Next Version of Google Maps

Google is beginning to unveil its new version of Google Maps. The functionality for directions will let you quickly compare driving a car to taking transit. I tried it out by asking for directions in Washington D.C. from Nationals Park to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. It defaulted to showing the best route for driving… Read more »

Sharing the road with art

Baltimore’s Kinetic Sculpture Race is an engineering challenge, a feat of endurance, and a display of visual kookiness that together make it a signature event of Charm City. But from my vantage points along the 14-mile route, it was also a demonstration of how human-powered vehicles can share the road with motor-powered vehicles. When the… Read more »

Ideas Aplenty Flow as a Result of Latest Hack Day

Local technologists shared ideas and worked together at Mobility Lab’s recent Data Visualization Hack Day. It’s great to take an online community and bring folks together. One of the participants, Ted Eytan, has already shared his experience of how he learned about new available data sets – see Walking on Mondays Looks Like a Healthy, Smart Business… Read more »

Maps in Motion: Telling Stories from Transit Data

Mobility Lab’s Data Visualization Hack Day (tomorrow, Saturday, March 23) will bring together programmers with agency representatives and community stakeholders. Our goal is to share both the data we have about regional mobility systems and the tools we use to visualize them. There’s something about visual information that manages to engage people and fire the imagination. As… Read more »

Heavy Use of Montreal Bixi Bikesharing System Displayed with New Open-Data Map

The public now has access to bikesharing data from a new city. Bixi Montreal has released a chunk of data from a day of bikesharing, which I’ve incorporated into my Trip Visualizer. Montreal’s bikesharing system is the largest in North America, with 410 stations. Among the other systems I’ve studied – Washington D.C.’s Capital Bikeshare,… Read more »

Boston and Minneapolis-Saint Paul Maps Show Bikeshare’s Transportation Impact

After building the CaBi Trip Visualizer for the Capital Bikeshare system in Washington D.C. and Virginia, I looked for other cities I could do similar analyses with. I found two other systems that posted the open data that would allow me to create maps showing where their riders are coming and going. I got the… Read more »

Neighborhood Clusters Added to Updated Capital Bikeshare Trip Visualizer

Capital Bikeshare’s trip history data for the 4th quarter of 2012 has been posted, and with it I’ve made a new version of the CaBi Trip Visualizer. (See last quarter’s version at A Closer Look at Bikeshare Data.) For this version, I’ve strengthened the features that let you examine clusters of stations. When you select… Read more »

Side-by-Side Router Compares Driving, Walking, Biking, and Transit

Online mapping applications have become an essential tool for route planning. The route planner from Google Maps originally assumed everyone wanted driving directions for cars, but has grown to include options for biking, walking, and transit. Availability depends on the location, but I’ve been impressed with Google Maps’ coverage. Using Google’s “application programming interface” (API), I… Read more »

Disney Trains, Google Transit, Flying Cars, and Metro Pac-Man at TransportationCamp

Hundreds of “transit nerds” shared ideas last weekend, as TransportationCamp made a welcome return to the Washington D.C. region. I rode my bike from D.C. to Arlington on this foggy January morning to participate in the unconference. Last year’s event introduced me to the concept of an “unconference,” and this one followed the same format. Attendees themselves generate… Read more »

Mixing and Mingling With Like-Minded Geeks

I attended my first “unconference” last January at Transportation Camp, which came for the first time to Washington D.C. The conference was for anyone interested in urban transportation and technology. The “unconference” aspect meant that the attendees themselves created the presentations. Anyone interested in leading a session wrote their proposal on a large fluorescent sticky note…. Read more »

A Closer Look at Bikeshare Data

Every quarter, a new set of data gets added to Capital Bikeshare’s repository of trip-history data. And as the Washington D.C. region’s bikesharing system grows more popular, the data sets grow in size (from 15 megabytes and 117,972 trips in the 4th quarter of 2010 to 68 megabytes and 637,531 trips in the 3rd quarter… Read more »

Hack Day Resulting in Transit-Screen Excitement

Local transit lovers created their own transit screens at Mobility Lab’s Hack Day this past Saturday. You might have noticed these screens if you’ve been to Java Shack in Arlington or the Red Palace bar in D.C. The real-time displays show custom web pages on Mobility Lab’s website. In order to encourage more places to… Read more »

Mobility Halloween Contest Has Winners from San Diego, DC, and Seattle

Congratulations to Nathan Rupert on winning our Halloween photo contest! Last week , we challenged readers to share some of the kooky and creative costumes they saw as people took transit or rode their bikes to Halloween events. Mr. Rupert, whose Flickr handle is San Diego Shooter, was in downtown San Diego on the Saturday… Read more »

Halloween Makes Transit More Fun

Got plans for Halloween? Whatever events you’re attending, are you brave enough to take public transportation while in your costume? If you see a spook on the subway, a buccaneer on the bus, a butterfly on a bike, or a troll on the trolley, take a photo and share it with Mobility Lab. We’ve created… Read more »

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