HERE has launched a new service, Traffic Analytics, to support better analysis and decision-making for those who build, manage, and use the road networks to move goods and people.
What are traffic analytics good for?
What’s the easiest way for us to ease congestion at rush hour? What was the impact on traffic flow during that construction project? How quickly are people passing by this billboard?
These are just a few of the types of questions Traffic Analytics helps address.
When transportation planners intend to launch a new project, such as road construction, they are required to justify funding. HERE Traffic Analytics allows them to identify where a problem exists, measure the impact of making a change, and communicate the effectiveness of solutions.
This data set is specifically designed for governments and enterprises who need a robust set of data to perform analytics to help manage their operations more effectively.
Big data complexity
Understanding traffic is hard. Let’s rephrase that. It’s enormously complex. And information is changing continuously, with petabytes of data surging through the backend systems at HERE all the time. HERE collects and processes around billions of traffic probe points every single day across 50 countries.
Creating traffic analytics was a typical big data problem. HERE has all these trillions of data points; how can they become accessible to the people who need the information in a readily digestible way?
The team used the open-source Cassandra database technology, developed specifically for ‘big data’ implementations to create a product that’s fast and readable, despite the inevitable complexity of the underlying information sources.
HERE Traffic Analytics has found a way to take this huge, complex data and turn it into actionable insight.
Making big data manageable and useful
HERE Traffic Analytics takes big data and makes it easier to digest, while providing a rich set of information.
In conversations with many different transportation agencies, the Traffic Analytics team found the needs and applications can vary. So they decided to design this in a way that lets users define what they need. The goal is to take all this big data and make it accessible and useful to the transportation community.
The team has created a repository going back several years that allows the data to be constructed, sliced, diced, and delivered based on the user’s preference.
It contains statistical information such as standard deviations and percentiles. Users can define time frames, geographies, data attributes, and even the amount of modeling they want.
Impact to the Transportation Community
HERE Traffic Analytics means transportation professionals can tell their story using a data driven approach, show and prioritize investments such as the impact of a transportation investment. It also allows transportation professionals to quantify and accurately measure and manage their network performance more effectively.
“We are using HERE Traffic Analytics because the state would like to have continued data for performance management purpose”, says Mei Chen, Associate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering at University of Kentucky. “I like the improved coverage and availability of path processed information.”
There are potential commercial applications for the product, too.
Many enterprise applications are based on population movement. Banks want to know the best place to site a new branch. Commercial real-estate is clear opportunity. But it’s wider than that. The people who own billboards, for example, would want to know how quickly people are passing by to set their rates for customers.
Data enables powerful transportation solutions. But data, unless actionable, isn’t relevant or interesting. HERE Traffic Analytics takes this rich data and makes it easy to digest so transportation and logistics professionals can use it to make better decisions.
If you’d like to know more about Traffic Analytics, then take a look at our website. Or let us know what you think in the comments below.
image credit: yung