A Day in the Life

A hypnotic animation revealing the connections, patterns and stories hidden in Visa's global transaction data.


Project TypeVideo & animation
A blue world map covered in semi-transparent white circles representing different transactions happening around the world.

When Visa asked us if we could create an animation visualizing 24 hours in the life of its global network, we flew straight to their team’s San Francisco HQ to kickstart the creative thinking.

As the project gathered pace, we worked in a 24-hour development cycle between London, San Francisco and Sydney (home to our excellent animation partner Patrick Clair).

In 2014, Visa processed around 150 million transactions, so there was plenty of data to dig into.

We ran various scripts in SQL and AppleScript to sift through the data and create early schematics to find answers to our questions. Like, where do the most generous people live? Or who spends the most on train travel?

The visualization also needed to show off a ‘normal’ day of spending. We ruled out more ‘unusual’ global days like Black Friday and Mexico’s Day of the Dead, settling on a Thursday in July.

Weaving data into narrative via a detailed storyboard, the animation moved between maps of countries and continents, steadily revealing the patterns within the transactions.

If you happen to be in San Francisco, you can see the project displayed in Visa’s visitor centre and HQ reception areas. Or just watch it right now.

A proportional area chart comparing shopping habbits between Russia, South Africa, Brazil and the United States across various categories. Groceries is most popular in all but the United States where restaurants were the most popular category.
Bar charts showing how many transactions were made every 10 minutes across six categories in Sydney Australia between 6 AM and 12 AM.
Semi-circular area charts comparing the percentage of daily VisaNet transactions that were donations between four countries: Austalia, United States Brazil, South Africa. Australia donated the most at 1.6% if daily domestic transactions.
A radial histogram showing the number of Visa transactions for restaurants in India between 11PM and 10AM.
A world map of transactions around the world made using Visa. A timeline at the bottom indicates how the transactions change globally throughout the day.
An animated GIF of a train moving from a tunnel on the left to a tunnel on the right.

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