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heinzel

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Posts: 16
Reply with quote  #1 
Around here, traffic can be a nightmare especially during rush hour. Traffic information on the radio is fairly unstructured and I always seem to miss the part I'm interested in, anyway.

Good thing there's a website that makes current traffic data available in this (I think) exceptionally intuitive format:

http://traffic.houstontranstar.org/layers/

You look at it, look at your way to/from work and can immediately assess expected delays and, in case they are needed, good alternatives. Seems like everyone I talk to here uses this website.

Do other cities have this as well?
What do you think about it?

Matthias
sfew

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Posts: 812
Reply with quote  #2 
Matthias,

This is useful information, but the display could be greatly improved. One problem that I noticed immediately is the fact that the legends for Freeway Speeds and Street Congestion are confusing. What is the relationship between these two legends? Are they just two ways of expressing the same thing? If so, why don't all of the colors appear in the Street Congestion legend? Also, the colors that are used to represent speed are poorly chosen. They don't represent an intuitive sequence from low to high. It would work better to use five intensities of a single hue from light to dark, with light for slow speeds and dark for fast speeds. Also, the black background color of the map with the bright colors for information is hard on the eyes. A light background would solve this problem.

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Stephen Few
heinzel

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Posts: 16
Reply with quote  #3 
Interesting feedback - I've been using this site so often I definitely look at it with a different viewpoint than the new one you have.

I can see all of your points, just want to clarify about freeway speeds vs. street congestion: The one is for the Interstates/State Highways, while the other one is for the "lesser" main roads that still make it on the map. So there is no overlap between the two. I am guessing they have different ways of gathering the data for the two, but still want to display it in the same format. Thus, it becomes confusing - I would say at first sight. Once you know the color coding, you don't look at the legends anymore and get the information quickly anyway. That's not to say it couldn't be improved - just clarifying what's going on there.

I guess the goodness about this graph is the way that they continually get real-time data and that they display it (they use any driver's anonymous bluetooth devices to measure how fast traffic flows). The graphical layout is less than stellar, while I still find it acceptable.
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