Vision Zero Dashboard:
Real-Time Traffic

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Why We Love It

This map has it all! Built to support the Vision Zero Initiative in New York City, it shows real-time data including traffic accidents by type, live traffic cameras and conditions, air quality, and weather. We love how this map creates a synoptic, 3D view of an urban landscape’s heartbeat and health. Summary statistics across the bottom synthesize what the animation is showing. This map provides citizens, planners, and elected officials with the information they need to improve safety in the City That Never Sleeps.

Why It Works

This map works because it shows current traffic conditions along major roads, including recently reported accidents, in New York City. Watch the entire traffic system, or click the cards along the bottom to drill-in and get ‘report cards’ on individual incidents. Click the incident for a 3D guided tour. Cartographers have long been tantalized by the dream of maps that are never out of date. The dream is now real thanks to the advent of sensor networks, wireless communications, GIS, and powerful APIs.

Important Steps

This custom app was built using the ArcGIS API for JavaScript, which supports a custom user interface and integration of data from different sources including streaming (live) data and Open Data provided by New York City.

Traffic volumes and speeds along major roads are categorized into four groups, from heavy to light. Use colors and animated symbols to communicate this information on the map.

Collisions are categorized by injuries to pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorists. They are sorted in descending order of number of injuries or deaths to show dangerous locations in the city.

The Air Quality Index API and Weather API were used to enable analysis and determine whether these conditions may have influenced the number of collisions.

A proxy is used to cache the data every 30 minutes to help scale the application to support many simultaneous users.

externalRenderers are a great way to extend the ArcGIS API for JavaScript.

Requirements

Data

Real-time traffic and camera feeds are from New York City DOT. Recently reported collisions are from New York City Open Data. The application also uses APIs from Air Now and World Weather Online to show air quality and weather conditions.

Analysis

The primary analysis here is to show the relationship between current traffic conditions and recently reported accidents involving a pedestrian, bicyclist, or motorist. Traffic conditions along major roads are displayed using colors and animated symbols to indicate volume and average speed.

Time

Including some experimentation and hunting for data sources, the entire project took less than a week.

Report Cards

Tips

Clicking the ‘report cards’ drills into the data to show the precise location of individual incidents.

Real-Time Traffic Cameras

Tips

Integrated real-time traffic cameras show us live views of the city.

Animated 3D Pushpins

Tips

Animated 3D pushpins draw the eye, give detailed information, and look cool.

Map Author

Sajit Thomas

Sajit Thomas

@SpatialAgent | LinkedIn

UX Architecture, changing the world one app at a time.

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