At last week’s Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting, I attended an excellent panel discussion about transportation data. Towards the end of the panel, the moderator challenged the group with a somewhat loaded question. I don’t recall the exact phrasing, but it was along these lines: “As transportation professionals, we know that we have a huge amount of work to do to upgrade, maintain, and repair our infrastructure. The backlog of projects that we have not yet begun is overwhelming. Given our clear mandate - and the often politicized process of infrastructure investments - does all this new data actually impact our decisions in the real world?” It’s an important question to ask - but based on audience feedback and in my own opinion, the answer is clearly yes.
Occasionally, when I introduce myself as an employee of StreetLight Data, people ask: “Oh, so you measure the data from streetlights?” We do not do that - yet! (But stay tuned for more information on our new partnership with Current Powered by GE down the road)
We're beginning to hear this question often enough that we wanted to publish a blog post about our name. And now is the right time to tell our story: Next week, we will be exhibiting at the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting, and the StreetLight Data booth (#639) is located near a traffic signal manufacturer.
Get the latest news about Big Data and mobility analytics for the transportation, retail, and real estate industries.
A few weeks ago, one of my best friends from graduate school moved to Colorado to work for my old employer, Rocky Mountain Institute. It’s a nonprofit research and educational foundation dedicated to efficient and sustainable use of resources. The downside – from my perspective – is that he and his equally awesome wife moved to Boulder, CO for this job. The upside – from his perspective – is that now he can go skiing every weekend. The question is: where should he go skiing?
External trip estimation is one of the most important measures for planning departments across the country. Like all kinds of travel, external trips cause wear and tear on local roads and contribute to traffic jams. But unlike your local residents, drivers simply passing through your community don’t contribute to your local economy. They’re not stopping to eat or shop. In this blog post, we've identified 10 ways that these trips can impact transportation planning in your community.
Ever since we launched StreetLight InSight, our transportation clients have asked about scaling the StreetLight Trip Index to estimate actual vehicle trip counts. Our recommendation has always been to do this manually using trusted local calibration data. In yesterday’s StreetLight InSight update, we transformed that manual process into an automated one with our new, BETA calibration feature.
This means that if you have average daily travel data that you trust for roads that are nearby (or even within) your project, you can enter that information directly into StreetLight InSight and automatically scale Metrics to estimated counts.
When I realized that 70% of our team would be traveling somewhere besides their own home on Thanksgiving Day this year, I found myself wondering: “Is this typical?” So, to find out just how dramatically Americans’ travel patterns change during holidays, we analyzed nearly 300 million personal trips that took place in the US from September 2015 to December 2015. We used our algorithmic data processing engine, RouteScience® and navigational GPS data from our partner INRIX to drill down on the volume and length of trips that occurred on holidays as compared to trips on more typical days. Keep reading to find out what we learned.