More Roller Coaster Portraits

This is a followup to my previous post, in which I developed a (silly) method for creating visually interesting representations of roller coaster accelerometer data. You can read about how these portraits are made and find all of the code to generate them in my previous post: Roller Coaster Visualizations. I recently found a few more interesting examples of roller coaster data on the internet, and I've used them to generate a new set of images, which you can see below. Enjoy! This post is also an IPython notebook file, which you can view in its native format at nbviewer: graphs2.ipynb

In [1]:
%pylab inline
from mpl_toolkits.mplot3d.axes3d import Axes3D
from pycoasters.coaster import Coaster
Populating the interactive namespace from numpy and matplotlib


Kanonen is a Swedish roller coaster, which I haven't had the pleasure of riding myself, but for which I have data courtesy of Prof. Ann-Marie Pendrill at the University of Gothenburg. The green bands in the image below show stronger lateral accelerations than I've encountered in a coaster of this type so far.

You can read Prof. Pendrill's articles about roller coaster physics here: and read (in Swedish) about Kanonen here.

In [2]:
kanonen = Coaster.load('data/2014-06-22-Ann-Marie-Pendrill/kanonen')

The Incredible Hulk

A steel roller coaster at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure in Florida. I found the data for this coaster at gcdataconcepts. Hulk is somewhat unique in that it has an accelerated launch hill: at the start of the ride, the train starts by climbing a hill as normal, but when it gets close to the top of the hill it is suddenly accelerated upward. You can see this in the portrait below at the 3-o'clock position, where a bright pink spike shows a strong acceleration forward and upward.

In [5]:
hulk = Coaster.load('data/2014-05-02-Gulf-Coast-Data-Concepts/hulk')


The raw data for Sea Swing, Hurricane, Bumpers, Drop Zone, and Starfish was all provided by Roger Meike, who wrote a post for SunSPOT about roller coaster accelerometer measurements back in 2009.

Sea Swing

Sea Swing suspends each rider in a swing hanging from a tilted, spinning disk (Video)

In [6]:
seaswing = Coaster.load('data/2009-05-08-Roger-Meike-Sun-SPOT/seaswing/')

This is not unlike a less-intense version of the Witches Wheel ride at Cedar Point, shown below:


An older steel roller coaster, with a relatively slow lift hill and a few large accelerations.

In [8]:
hurricane = Coaster.load('data/2009-05-08-Roger-Meike-Sun-SPOT/hurricane/')


This ride just spins its occupants around in a circle, first forwards then backwards. The acceleration is relatively constant and mild, with a pause in the middle of the ride before it switches directions: (Video)

In [7]:
starfish = Coaster.load('data/2009-05-08-Roger-Meike-Sun-SPOT/starfish/')