To develop this map, we incorporated 10 data feeds from across our 30 coalition agencies. The map refreshes every 20 seconds, using this constantly updated information.
How do you help travelers vital knowledge they need to navigate border checkpoints? As our clients at NITTEC discovered, Google Maps Platform. Here's their story.
There’s a lot of traffic activity at the border of Western New York State and Southern Ontario. Every month, an average of 1 million vehicles cross the three bridges with border checkpoints between the United States and Canada. Our job at Niagara International Transportation Technology Coalition (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 we created our new map — built with Google Maps Platform — which takes a complex mix of data from local, state and federal agencies and gives drivers a single view of their trip.
We’ve used Google Maps Platform on the NITTEC website since 2007. Since then, we have developed a multi-layered map as part of our efforts to improve traffic movement in the cross-border region. This map uses the Google Maps API to help us 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, especially since it involves data from two countries.
The map is on the NITTEC website homepage, so visitors can quickly find out 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 tell 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, we incorporated 10 data feeds from across our 30 coalition agencies. The map refreshes every 20 seconds, using this constantly updated information. A mobile version of the map allows drivers approaching the border to get up-to-date info while they’re en route.
People are already familiar with Google Maps Platform, so seeing our map provides clear, customizable and up-to-date traffic information that can be viewed at a glance and is easily digestible. It also helps us send a message about the NITTEC brand — that we’re on a mission to help people in the area get where they’re going safely and more efficiently.