BBC: Cumbria’s M6: Photo archive shows motorway at 50. “It is one of the highest stretches of motorway in the country, covering 36 miles (57.9km) between Lancaster and Penrith. The road, which incorporates the Lune Gorge, was opened on 23 October 1970. Photographs of the construction of the motorway, by John Laing Construction Ltd, have been preserved in a special Historic England archive.”
Techdirt: Why Navigation Apps, Working Properly, Can Make Traffic Flows Worse — And What To Do About It. “Techdirt has just written about how advanced digital technology can be used for less-than-benign purposes, simply because it is a tool that can be applied in both good and bad ways. A fascinating analysis by Jane Macfarlane in IEEE Spectrum explores something similar: how new technology being used as designed, and with only the best intentions, can nonetheless give rise to potentially serious problems.”
Computerworld: Seeing the signs (and locating them) with Google Street View and deep learning. “Street signs are everywhere, but where they are precisely is not always known by the local government authorities that manage them. Councils and governments keep datasets of all signs in an area – a record of location data is mandatory – but as roads are redeveloped they are increasingly incomplete and due to errors by humans doing field surveys, often inaccurate.”
University of Kansas: Kansas rocks! Online tool from Geological Survey invites deeper exploration of state’s highways and byways. “The mobile-friendly ‘Highways & Byways to Kansas Geology’ website leads users on a geological tour of the state’s roadways with a scrolling format known as a story map. It explores what natural features like rock formations, wetlands and colorfully layered roadcuts reveal about the evolution of the ground beneath our feet and the cultural history of the people who settled and passed through the state.” What a cool idea.
Government Technology: States Contribute Images for 270K Miles of Roads to Database. “Hundreds of thousands of miles of roadways in Arizona and a number of other states are part of a growing network of images detailing guardrails, street-signage, striping and other features central to understanding and improving highway safety.”
Malta Today: Drones will map out 2,500 kilometres of Malta’s roads for new database. “Aerial photos of over 2,500 kilometres of roads in Malta and Gozo will be captured by specialised drones during the next few weeks, starting from the northern parts of Malta. These images will then be processed to develop a new Geographic Information System (GIS) containing orthophoto maps of Malta’s road network as well as digital road surface models, road condition and damage data that can be used to establish reconstruction prioritisation levels.” I had never heard the term “orthophoto” before, but GIS Lounge enlightened me.
Daily Californian: UC Berkeley transportation research center releases interactive website for reporting road safety issues. “Street Story, a new website developed by researchers at UC Berkeley’s Safe Transportation Research and Education Center, or SafeTREC, allows California residents to report unsafe road conditions, accidents or near misses, with the goal of creating a data set that engages the community and provides useful, publicly accessible information for city and transportation planners.”
Daily Leader: New MDOT site shows road and bridge data. “A new Mississippi Department of Transportation data website can tell county residents something they already know — some state maintained roads are in lousy shape. The new website, MDOT Public Accountability Transportation Hub or PATH, provides an interactive visual analysis of historical and current statewide road and bridge conditions.”
Government Technology: Little Vermont Uses Big Data to Predict Bridge Repairs and Traffic Jams. “Vermont may be a land of bucolic country roads. It is also a land of big data. State transportation engineers are using artificial intelligence, predictive analytics and even wonkier-sounding neural networks to better understand how roads and bridges might be deteriorating and in need of maintenance.”
WZZM: Website would list potholes dotting Michigan highways. “Want to avoid rim-busting potholes on your way into work? There may be an app for that. A house bill introduced this week calls for an online database that lists potholes on Michigan highways. While the Michigan Department of Transportation already takes pothole reports, a bill introduced by Rep. Leslie Love, D-Detroit, would put that information online.”
Global Times: Shanghai establishes database of historic alleys. “Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Planning and Land Resources recently said a second census on place names is proceeding throughout the city in order to better understand the histories behind the names of historic alleys and set up a database for further protection, thepaper.cn reported Wednesday.”
TIME: You Can Find Street Intersections By Name With This Handy Search Engine. “From Haight and Ashbury to 42nd and Broadway, street intersections have always been a way to note something special. Thanks to a new website, however, everyone will be able to find a street corner, personalized for them.”
This is a press release from ResponseSource but it’s not very “press-releasy” – Historian uses Google Streetview to find Britain’s “lost” 1930s-era cycleways. “These cycleways were installed beside British roads between 1934 and 1940, but were abandoned after the Second World War. Many were surfaced with red concrete, protected cyclists with kerbs and extended for many miles. They were commissioned by the Ministry of Transport and were built on both sides of the arterial roads constructed in the 1930s. Author and historian Carlton Reid used archive sources to identify the likely locations for the cycleways, and then confirmed their existence not with field walks or even bike rides, but with Google Streetview.”
Pointed out by Steve D on Twitter, thanks man! The National Library of Scotland has put a 1923 set of transport road maps online. “This set of Ministry of Transport Road Maps, issued by the Ordnance Survey in 1923, were the first to accurately show the initial numbered roads in Scotland. The roads depicted on this set of maps are the Class I (red) roads showing important routes connecting large population centres or through roads, and the less important Class II (green) roads.”
The latest state to get a snow plow mapper is Vermont. “The new website includes plow finder, a map that shows the locations of the 250 Vermont Department of Transportation plow trucks.”