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There are already several compelling examples of bike hire maps and visualizations around, such as the London Bike Grid, the Bike-O-Meter, the detailed London Cycle Hire Explorer, or the various iPhone apps that allow uses to discover the most convenient available bikes close in the vicinity.

Here, Bikes Map [] stands out because it offers a real-time map view on almost all cities around the world that offer bike hire schemes, ranging from London over Washington D.C. to Zaragoza. Unfortunately, it seems (too) many bike hire schemes, in spite of being publicly funded, still close up and protect their data, making only historical views on usage patterns possible.

A more detailed analysis of these data sets can be found here.