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An animated map of every Los Angeles commute

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Census data and arduous drive times never looked so good

Watching commuters on animated maps is much more relaxing than watching them on the road alongside you.
Alyona Rudenko/

Stuck in traffic on the freeway, drivers’ angry first thoughts are probably, “Where are all of these people even coming from?!”

Thanks to these lovely commute maps below, we can see the answer for ourselves. The maps, created and provided to Curbed by “data enthusiast” Mark Evans, use Census data from the American Community Survey to plot the commutes of workers who travel between 20 and 100 miles to work in various counties across the U.S., says CityLab, which also featured the maps.

The animated commute maps are available for every county in the country, but hypnotized the ones for Los Angeles County are hypnotizing. Commuters here are unsurprisingly far-flung.

The dots are small or large depending on the number of commuters they represent (“a large dot indicates a higher relative number of commuters moving from the same [Census] tract to the same tract”), and they’re color-coded based on the counties they’re coming from or commuting to.

Mark Evans

Watch as people who work in LA County go into their jobs and head home at the end of the day:

Mark Evans

Or select the option to watch workers who live in LA County go to and from their jobs:

Mark Evans

Having a way to visualize where people are traveling from or to doesn’t make congestion any easier to deal with, but at least watching all the dots spread out and contract is a really soothing way to pass the time—just don’t do it while you’re driving, please.