RoadSafe GIS is the fruition of many years working in the field and learning about the needs of local agencies when it comes to collision data. In my previous post, I briefly outlined its origins while working at UC Berkeley and developing the Transportation Injury Mapping System (TIMS). Now I would like to describe current options available to local agencies and how RoadSafe GIS can fill a void as a new software service.
Despite the popularity of TIMS, most local agencies in California still maintain their own data in private software solutions. Although TIMS is a powerful, freely available web-based system, there are several drawbacks that prevent exclusive use by a city or county agency:
- Accuracy of the collision data
- Accuracy of the geocoding
- Timeliness of the data availability
- Inability to modify data
- Inability to integrate their own infrastructure data
Most of the time it simply boils down to this: local agencies need their local perspective in the data. For example, in many cities in California, the traffic engineers never get to review the traffic collision reports before the police department submits the reports to the state. So after the data is released by the State, the first task may be to review the data and make changes as necessary. Using their private software solutions, engineers can import and make edits to the data. Another example is that in TIMS the data is geocoded very well when looking overall at the State, but in any given locale there could be large clusters of collisions that are improperly geocoded. This takes careful reviews of the data to identify all the geocoding errors, but could only happen at the local level.
Having the ability to make these changes at the local level is important, but it also requires a great deal of effort. The assigned traffic engineer could spend many hours editing each batch of data just to make it fit into their system. On top of that, getting data into their own system does not necessarily provide the optimal solution. Many types of collision data management software are either outdated desktop solutions or complicated tools that only a very small number of staff in a department can actually use. If a key staff member left the agency, that could effectively end the ability of an agency to update data or use their expensive software. This is a real concern, especially at smaller agencies. They may have been able to purchase the software, but what keeps it going after that? And why should only a few staff members learn to utilize the software for collision data analysis? The planning department, police department, public works, and traffic engineering departments should all be able to quickly access collision data.
This is why we developed RoadSafe GIS:
To give local level attention to each client agency’s data, take over the burden of the collision data geocoding and management, and provide a high quality cloud-based web interface to query, map and analyze the data.
It is important to emphasize that RoadSafe GIS is a service, not just a software. A subscription to RoadSafe GIS means you get a dedicated team of experts to geocode and manage your collision data. What this means is that your team will spend less time on data formatting and manipulation, and more time to focus on engineering tasks and public safety. We also retrieve newly available data and make updates to the system. All your staff has to do is access the site and download any data or charts or tables as they need.
Other aspects of RoadSafe GIS:
- There’s no data or software to upkeep, which will make your IT department and staff happy to focus on other aspects of their job.
- The data will be accessible. Your GIS analyst can download an entire dataset to conduct spatial analysis in desktop GIS software. Your enterprise GIS manager can directly access the ArcGIS Online feature service to integrate with other GIS data. Your web developer can directly pull a feature service into another application they are developing.
- If your agency uses ArcGIS Online for other data services, you can set a custom role for RoadSafe GIS to allow us to create and update a collision service in your organization.
- If you have intersection infrastructure or traffic volume data, we can integrate it into the query system as a filter.
- You will have the ability to submit periodic collision or intersection data edits and we will update the database.
If you have any questions or just want to take RoadSafe GIS on a test run using sample data, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.