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167424-1 Report Abstract

Providing Personalized Traffic Safety Information to the Public: Using Web-Based Geographical Information System Technologies

Saw-Pin Miaou, Raghav Tandon, and Joon Jin Song, Texas A&M University, February 2005, 43 pp. (167424-1)

Due to their size and complexity, traffic crash records and related databases have not been particularly accessible to the general public. As more households, schools, and libraries are being equipped with high-speed desktop computers and as more subscribe to broadband communication services, providing Personalized Traffic Safety Information (PTSI) to individuals through the Internet will soon be a cost effective means of sensitizing and educating the public on traffic safety issues and on roadway conditions in areas and roads of personal interest to them. The main objective of this study was to explore and test the capability of existing web-based geographical information system (Web-GIS) technologies to personalize and disseminate traffic safety information to the public in a cost-effective manner. The Web-GIS technologies explored were those that could provide users with on-line access to safety databases and allowed users to visualize the distribution and statistics of traffic crashes geographically and learned about the nature of these crashes over the Internet. In particular, this study looked into the Internet Mapping (IM) technology that has been significantly advanced in recent years. To test these technologies, this project selected Brazos County, Texas, as a testbed.

At the time of this study, the locations of crash records and associated road inventory data were not georeferenced in Texas. To meet the research need, an important part of the study was an attempt to develop an efficient and accurate way of geocoding historical traffic crashes using Geographical Information Systems (GIS). In addition, under a joint effort between this and another research project, a prototype web-based traffic safety information system for Texas was developed by this research team. The system was named Web-Based Traffic Safety Information and Analysis System (W-TSIAS). It consists of a set of semi-automated GIS-based procedures for geocoding and is coupled with a suite of Internet mapping capabilities, which allow locations and attributes of geocoded crashes, road inventory, and related data to be securely accessed, viewed, and queried remotely through a typical web browser. One of the functionalites of W-TSIAS was to provide PTSI to the public.

Keywords: Personalized Traffic Safety Information, Traffic Safety Record, Geographical Information System, Geocoding, Internet Mapping

ENTIRE REPORT (Adobe Acrobat File – 6.7 MB)