Avoiding Delays at the U.S.-Canada Border, Thanks to NITTEC and Google Maps Platform

"To develop this map, we incorporated ten data feeds from across our 30 coalition agencies. The map refreshes every 20 seconds, using this constantly updated information."

nittec


PROJECT SCOPE

INDUSTRY
U.S. State & Local Government
 
SERVICES PROVIDED
Google Maps
 
EMPLOYEES
30 coalition agencies,
17 employees

How do you help travelers gain the vital knowledge they need to navigate border checkpoints? As clients of Niagara International Transportation Technology Coalition (NITTEC) discovered, you use Google Maps Platform.

There’s a lot of traffic activity at the border of Western New York State and Southern Ontario. Every month, an average of one million vehicles cross the three bridges with border checkpoints between the United States and Canada. The work of NITTEC is to help vacationers and commuters in the Niagara Falls area see any traffic and road issues that might stand in their way. That’s why NITTEC created its new map — built with Google Maps Platform — which incorporates a complex mix of data from local, state and federal agencies, providing drivers with a consolidated view of their trip.

 

 

The Google Maps Platform on the NITTEC website has been used since 2007. Since then, the organization has developed a multi-layered map as part of its efforts to improve traffic movement in the cross-border region. This map uses the Google Maps API to help pull together a wealth of useful data, including construction projects, delays and border crossing times. This information is available piecemeal from other agencies, but a traveler would have a hard time patching together a true picture of traffic conditions at the border. This is especially true since data from two countries is involved.

The map is on the NITTEC website homepage, making it easy for visitors to quickly determine how long it will take to get to the border, how much time they’ll have to wait at checkpoints — and which alternate routes might be less congested. For instance, when the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge has long wait times, a quick glance at the map can inform drivers if they’re better off heading for the Peace Bridge or the Rainbow Bridge. Travelers can use the map’s control panel to choose which overlays they see, such as satellite views, highways and live camera images.

To develop this map, NITTEC incorporated ten data feeds from across its 30 coalition agencies. Using this constantly updated information, the map refreshes every 20 seconds.. A mobile version of the map allows drivers approaching the border to get up-to-date information while en route.

People are already familiar with Google Maps, so seeing the NITTEC map provides clear, customizable and up-to-date traffic information that is easily digestible and viewable at a glance. It also helps the organization send a message about the NITTEC brand — that it is on a mission to help people in the area get where they’re going, safely and more efficiently.

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