ZEIT Online – Visualizing commuting patterns

For ZEIT Online, a large German online media outlet, I conceptualized, designed and co-implemented a set of interactive visualizations that show more than 40,000 commuting patterns between German counties. This first-time approach at visualizing all commuting patterns in Germany was based on open data from Germany’s labour office.


The goal was to create an appealing storytelling piece that not only conveys the magnitude of daily commuting volumes in Germany, but which also aesthetically abstracts from the daily routine of commuting and supports self-identification of the phenomenon by the reader by making individual flows visible. The story received over 75,000 hits within the first two days.

Here, in addition to the final product, the design process and intermediary steps are shown that have led to the final product.