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PeopleForBikes City Ratings

Advanced data visualization site for the world's leading bicycle advocacy group.
Case Study
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Website
Client
PeopleForBikes
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THOR works with People For Bikes on numerous custom online projects every year. City Ratings has been one of the most ambitious projects we've undertaken with them.

Rethink, rebuild, and redesign reads like a challenge for many. At THOR, we read it as an opportunity. Leaders at PeopleForBikes told us they felt their previous website held back their advocacy work. As the leading cycling group in the United States, PeopleForBikes’ ambitious ideas needed a better translation to an online format. THOR’s designers hit the ground running, or rather, riding.

A Fresh Start for City Ratings

PeopleForBikes’ data-centric desires required top visualizations and speed. Their City Ratings information ranks criteria of places and routes to determine the best spots for cycling. THOR selected a leading development framework, Next.js, that can handle large datasets and interactive elements. This replaces the outdated, Wordpress-based site that could not handle the demands of the City Ratings program.

Examples of the dynamic City Ratings site design.
The City Ratings site combines dynamic design with advanced database-centric architecture.

A Better Data Workflow

PeopleForBikes collects biking data from around the world through their statistical analysis and surveying hundreds of communities. As part of the 2021 rebuild, PeopleForBikes redesigned their criteria for judging cities. This demanded a new approach between their team of data scientists and the web.

THOR designers normalized the data and added our own stylistic touches. The results? A simple set of data tools PeopleForBikes can easily update annually. When combined with advanced data visualizations and leading design, THOR created a website where users can explore the best cities for biking.

An example of the actual metadata for a sample city.
Each of over 1000 cities has a complex underlying metadata layer.

A View From Above

THOR focuses on great imagery. Whether creating custom photography or curating stock images, THOR accentuates the core message of each unique brand with dynamic visuals. We consider this our hallmark.

We know busy teams require easy to maintain solutions. Projects such as City Ratings demand creative imagery, without hand-selecting images. For this project, THOR landed on the idea of using satellite imagery to visualize each city in a scalable way. We implemented the imagery from a leading mapping provider, Mapbox, to simply leverage the latitude and longitude coordinates in our dataset.

An isolated view of a city page header showcasing aerial view photography.
All of the content in the individual cities design is dynamically generated.

Visualizing Great Biking

PeopleForBikes asked THOR to make their website’s look match their ambitions. The design of the City Ratings site blends custom elements and template-oriented content delivery. During our integrated design and development process [THOR digital process link], THOR worked to create a flexible framework appropriate to both print and digital communication goals. Now, PeopleForBikes displays their aligned look from website, to mobile, and directly into retail locations across the globe. 

Sample page views of filtering and how-to sections of the City Ratings site.
The City Ratings site was built to provide clear and relevant data to visitors.
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