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NY Taxi Demo

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A simple guide to NY taxi business, leveraging Columnar Storage

What's new in this version

Added version check


The New York Taxi dataset, columnar style

This repository includes scripts to load New York Taxi trip datasets into InterSystems IRIS and leverages the new Columnar Storage option.

Running the Docker containers

The Docker build scripts in this repository will load NY Taxi trip data for a single month (January 2020), after with the image reaches about 20GB. If you have enough disk space and patience (the single-month build easily takes 15mins on a decent laptop, assuming mine is decent), you can edit Dockerfile to download more data by uncommenting a few lines, or do it afterwards using the manual installation instructions below.

docker-compose build
docker-compose up

Running the container will publish the Jupyter server on port 8888, so you can access it at http://localhost:8888/. See below for more on the demo notebooks.

Loading into your own instance

Note: Before loading this package, please verify you’re running an IRIS release of 2022.2 or above and have a license that enables Columnar Storage (either Community Edition or Advanced Server).

Setting up with IPM

Install the bdb-nytaxi module using IPM

USER> zpm

zpm:USER> install bdb-nytaxi

This will create the handful of tables used in the demo and populate them with the contents of the ./data folder, which has a tiny sample of taxi ride data and the list of taxi zones referenced in the rides data.

Setting up - oldschool

  1. Import the contents of this repository into your InterSystems IRIS 2022.2+ instance using $SYSTEM.OBJ.Load().

  2. Run the following command to load:

    do ##class(NYTaxi.Utils).Load("/path/to/repo/data")

    If you happen to have saved the trip data in a different location, just make sure to also run the above method for both the trip data and the ./data folder, which has the Taxi Zones information.

Adding more data

You can download as many YellowCab trip data files as you’d like from the City of New York Open Data portal (use the “export” button and choose CSV). In case you’re downloading the files from a different source, please make sure to verify if it has a header and the columns correspond to those in the NYTaxi.Rides table.

Alternatively, you can use the src/python/download-trips-to-csv.py script to download the files directly, passing the year and month for each file you’d like to load. The following commands download the data for January through March in 2020, which is what the demo notebooks are based on:

python download-trips-to-csv.py 2020 1 /path/to/your/download/
python download-trips-to-csv.py 2020 2 /path/to/your/download/
python download-trips-to-csv.py 2020 3 /path/to/your/download/

After downloading more CSV files, un the following command to load them into IRIS using LOAD DATA:

do ##class(NYTaxi.Utils).Load("/path/to/your/download")

Setting up the Jupyter notebooks

First download the DB-API driver for IRIS (available as a .whl file) and then install it and a few additional Python packages using pip:

pip install /path/to/intersystems_irispython-3.2.0-py3-none-any.whl
pip install pandas numpy matplotlib

Then copy or point your notebook folder at the contents of the ./src/python/ directory of this repository.

The demo notebooks

By now you should be ready to open demo.ipynb in your Jupyter or Jupyter-lab instance, edit your connection settings and play the paragraphs!

There are several variants of the notebooks trying out different flavours of queries that I used in demos such as at Global Summit 2022. Not all of these are relevant to run with the environment set up through the scripts in this repository, but as they are fully rendered, the output and description may provide helpful insights. Specifically, the colobench notebook was run on a much larger dataset hosted on a beefy server in our private datacenter.

:warning: The queries assume you loaded NY Taxi trip data for January through March 2020. If you loaded a different set of files, your results may differ from what’s in the bundled notebooks.

Note that the available global buffers (your database cache) may have a significant impact on how the queries behave. The NYTaxi.RowRides table (with row orientation) typically requires a lot more data to be read, so performance may fall quickly if the total dataset size loaded doesn’t fit your cache (which is precisely one of the pitfalls Columnar Storage tries to address). Most timings you see in the uploaded notebooks were taken when data was fully cached.


Please file a GitHub issue if you run into anything unexpected.

Made with
zpm install bdb-nytaxi download archive
0.2.210 Jan, 2023
Technology Example
Works with
InterSystems IRIS
First published
06 Jan, 2023
Last checked by moderator
27 Jun, 2023Works