Esri, Waze partner on crowdsourced traffic data

DOT taps into Waze, GPS data

The Department of Transportation announced plans for two pilot programs that will integrate its existing datasets with near-real-time data sources to improve highway safety.

The first will integrate existing data on known crashes and highway design with speed-related data culled from anonymous GPS-enabled devices to see how the speed and roadway characteristics determine crashes. 

The second pilot project will integrate crash data from Waze, the app that crowdsources information on roadway conditions, with DOT's existing data to see if Waze can help estimate crash risk.

Waze data has been integrated into a number of state and local traffic applications.

The Google-owned service has been used by to tackle gridlock and double parking in Boston. Last year, Atlanta worked with Esri and Waze on CommuteATL, an online platform designed to help drivers plan their travel during the I-85 bridge reconstruction.  The California Department of Transportation, meanwhile, won a 2017 GCN dig IT award for its Caltrans QuickMap that integrated data from California Highway Patrol, the state’s traffic-monitoring centers, Google and Waze to keep drives up to date with road conditions.

Many cities use GPS to monitor the location of buses, police cruisers and trains.

With new data analysis pilots that augment traditional data sources with more timely information, DOT said it can create new multi-dimensional models of the U.S. transportation system.

About the Author

Susan Miller is executive editor at GCN.

Over a career spent in tech media, Miller has worked in editorial, print production and online, starting on the copy desk at IDG’s ComputerWorld, moving to print production for Federal Computer Week and later helping launch websites and email newsletter delivery for FCW. After a turn at Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology, where she worked to promote technology-based economic development, she rejoined what was to become 1105 Media in 2004, eventually managing content and production for all the company's government-focused websites. Miller shifted back to editorial in 2012, when she began working with GCN.

Miller has a BA from West Chester University and an MA in English from the University of Delaware.

Connect with Susan at or @sjaymiller.

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Reader Comments

Tue, Jan 9, 2018 Sonoma County Resident Santa Rosa, CA

Maybe they'll realize crashes have more to do with road design (short ramps, poor curvature, bad visibility, narrow shoulders) than with speed limits. There are several sections sections of US Interstate 101 between San Francisco and Santa Rosa that alternate between 55 and 65 mile per hour speed limits. Yet, the road could easily handle faster drivers in the 55mph areas. Far be it from the DOT to admit certain speed limits are solely for revenue purposes, though....

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