city transportation (metamorworks/Shutterstock.com)

Promoting traffic safety through data visualization

The Department of Transportation wants to help policymakers, transportation providers and the public better understand transportation safety through data visualizations.

Solving for Safety: Visualization Challenge calls for new tools to analyze transportation safety systems.  DOT is looking for two classes of tools: first "discover insight tools" to offer visualizations of trends in agency data and "simulation tools" that allow users to easily shift and adjust data in simulation and probability models to assist in decision making.

The tools can be image analysis solutions, dashboards that tap into disparate datasets, maps that rely on spatial analysis, virtual or augmented reality scenarios or social media mining. Participants can use data from DOT or other resources.

Officials want competitors to focus on vulnerable users (like pedestrians and cyclists), accidents at conflict points (like intersections or rail crossings) and high risk-factors (including young drivers and people driving under the influence). The department also wants to better understand how factors like weather, time of day and road conditions affect safety.

“Recent innovations in data analytics and visualization tools give us the potential to understand risk at the system level, and to develop tools and discover insights that will lead to new, life-saving strategies that address injuries and fatalities on our roadways,” the agency's Undersecretary for Policy Derek Kan said.

In the first stage participants will submit their ideas. Four competitors will go onto the second round where they will develop a proof-of-concept. There is $350,000 worth of prize money that will be distributed between the second and third stages of the competition.

About the Author

Matt Leonard is a reporter/producer at GCN.

Before joining GCN, Leonard worked as a local reporter for The Smithfield Times in southeastern Virginia. In his time there he wrote about town council meetings, local crime and what to do if a beaver dam floods your back yard. Over the last few years, he has spent time at The Commonwealth Times, The Denver Post and WTVR-CBS 6. He is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, where he received the faculty award for print and online journalism.

Leonard can be contacted at mleonard@gcn.com or follow him on Twitter @Matt_Lnrd.

Click here for previous articles by Leonard.


inside gcn

  • Global Precipitation Measurement of Florence

    USDA geotargets the press

Reader Comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group