Real-time Traffic Visualization System Recognized as a Champion of Change
Among the organizations and applications that were recently recognized at the White House as “Champions of Change” is University of Maryland’s Regional Integrated Transportation Information System with its real-time travel information delivery to smartphones. RITIS is an automated data sharing, dissemination, and archiving system that includes many performance measure, dashboard, and visual analytics tools that help agencies to gain situational awareness, measure performance, and communicate information between agencies and to the public.
There are three main RITIS components including
- real-time data feeds,
- real-time situational awareness tools, and
- archived data analysis tools.
Real-Time Data Feeds
RITIS data feeds are services that provide direct access to real-time incident, event, detector, probe, weather, transit, and other data sources including ITS device status. The RITIS data feeds are designed to facilitate integration of RITIS data back into legacy and third party systems and for 3rd-party application developers that need access to real-time information for dynamic mobility applications. The data feeds provide for implementation flexibility both in data format and retrieval method. The RITIS platform allows each agency to determine which data elements it wishes to provide in the data feed or maintain secure and secluded from other agencies or the public.
Real-Time Situational Awareness Tools
The RITIS website allows users with appropriate credentials to view all of the real-time RITIS data in a browser. The website provides users with a dynamic set of visualizations and tools that afford efficient situational awareness. Authorized users can interact with live events, incidents, weather, sensors, radio scanners, and other data sources and devices in maps, lists, and other graphics. Users can apply a rich set of filters, access contact information, and even set up alerts. Accounts are not given to the public or the private sector due to the sensitive nature of some of the data.
Archived Data Analysis Tools
All data within RITIS is archived indefinitely—meaning that no data is ever deemed “too old” to be removed from user access. A number of online tools have been developed to allow users to query, analyze, and derive performance measures from the RITIS archive. Many of these tools are highly interactive and dynamic. They have been developed with the user in mind and afford a high degree of freedom to explore the data with minimal training needed. Data within the archive can also be downloaded and/or exported so that users can perform their own, independent analysis. These tools can allow users to identify accident hot-spots, analyze queue lengths and traffic congestion/bottlenecks at specific areas, perform after action reviews, and evaluate the effectiveness of transportation operations strategies.