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Street maps that indicate the routes more travelled
Begin with a normal street map. Collect traffic
data from a large number of cars. Mark street
crossings to show the amount of traffic
turning into any one place, showing "where cars
usually go" when flowing from small capillary streets
into larger streets, something that isn't always
on normal street grids.
(Imagine time lapse photography at night; there
would be a big bundle of red lights turning one way,
and only a few small streaks turning the other way.)
On a smaller and more dynamic scale, it would
be helpful to have a "trace" of the traffic, say,
from one hour ago to now. Such a map would
show: cars circling a block and all vanishing in the
same parking garage entry that right now you
can't seem to find; whether this short cut works
at this time of day; and where the party is.
Intelligent Transportation Systems
You could use cell phone traffic to track the cars. [egnor, Oct 03 1999]
Using buses as probe vehicles to measure traffic.
Buses also have location tracking systems (not GPS) that you could use. [egnor, Oct 03 1999]
[egnor, Oct 03 1999]
[egnor, Oct 03 1999]
||I would want two maps, for the two rush hours
of the day, because one-way streets
make the travel anisotropic.
||I would like to be able to find the clever
shortcuts that limo drivers and locals
learn to avoid congestion or shorten the
||If everyone had access to the shortest and least congested routes that the locals used, they'd disappear - right? Isn't a shortcut's very existence owed to the fact that not everyone knows about it? Otherwise it becomes just another congested thoroughfare...
||FedEx trucks have both GPS and two-way data links, right? That's enough information, and they have enough trucks to make a real-time congestion map showing where traffic is slow or stopped. Unless they have a magic way of avoiding the congestion in the first place... Um, now that I think about it, when's the last time you saw a FedEx truck stuck in traffic?
||just follow the FedEx truck!
||[loomar]: It's true the shortcuts would disappear, but all the routes would be used more efficiently and traffic would be spread lightly everywhere. Everyone would move at the same pace, rather than people with local knowledge getting to move faster, and the average pace would be higher. Unless the knowledge of alternative routes encouraged everyone to drive a whole bunch more and traffic just expanded again to fill its container, which it might.