Either know how long it takes to get to the next bus or know if there are fewer stopping lanes nearby, the mobility information offered by platforms such as Google Maps or Waze It requires the processing of large amounts of data.
This is the big data discipline by which these systems collect and process information on traffic, pollution, and even the level of accessibility of urban transport systems. The process of gathering data from so many sources of information at the same time can be a titanic task if it were not for open databases that feed public entities.
Sebastian Fiernaux, Manager for Strategic Alliances at Google Maps in Latin America, explains that the firm has a global standard called GTFS (in English name, General Specifications for Feedback). used to describe the transport pattern and data layers of the mobility units.
According to Hiernaux, Google helped create this model some 30 years ago, but today it is also open to the GitHub development collaboration platform.
"We went to do a static route description to add real time to your GPS route. We can tell the end user how far their bus is coming. ", point.
According to the executive, the goal is for cities to generate their own GTFS so other platforms can use the information and authorities can more easily access the data.
It also guarantees it Google Maps is working with other companies to describe stations according to features such as accessibility, what its signaling is and how far it is in the carriers, among others.
In the case of the Waze navigation app, there is a contribution system in which users voluntarily detail the news on community maps, such as traffic accidents or the location of security cameras.
We go from static track descriptions to adding real-time to your GPS route. We can tell the end user how far their bus is arriving
But they also have the Connected Citizens program, which exchanges information with organizations. Rodrigo Cortes, Vase's manager in Colombia, explains that the aim of this project is to achieve mutual benefit from this data.
Today they have 15 allies, including local secretaries and mayors, "who benefit from the information provided by millions of drivers. In God alone there are 1.2 million users who connect on average 1 hour 45 minutes a day”, Details Cortes.
On the other hand, the data collected by Vase is used by, for example, Madeleine's Ministry of Mobility, which, as Cortes says, "It is connected to our map in real time and sees when there is a difficulty in mobility and changes traffic lights to improve flow."
Algorithms estimate the frequency of sun and shadows generated by buildings (…) This multiplied by the average dashboard tells us the potential for photovoltaic mitigation
"In God, with the exclusive school bus corridors located to the north of the city, it can be seen whether accidents have been reported or not, and thus you have been able to improve travel times"The executive adds.
Another aspect that highlights these platforms is to contribute to sustainable mobility.
Not yet available in Colombia, Google Maps has recently incorporated in-app locations for electric car charging locations. They also offer specifications such as the type of adapter they receive.
Hiernaux points to this user car specifications, such as its charger type, are collected, and at the same time real-time data is collected from stations to know, for example, when they are available and whether or not they offer the adapters they need. the people. "With this information, we can channel the user to the right place," he says.
In addition, Google Enviromental Insights, which is not yet in Colombia but in Argentina, is trying to measure the city's greenhouse gas footprint. Keep track of public transport and building emissions. Then, the city's photovoltaic potential is calculated.
"Our algorithms estimate the frequency of the sun and the shadows that the buildings create. (…) Multiplied by the average dashboard in the country tells us the potential of city photovoltaic mitigation", Explains Firnaks.
However, the challenge for organizations to make greater progress in this area is to coordinate with public entities as they say so. Sometimes the way authorities aggregate data makes the applicable use of information more complex.
MARCHA PAULINA ARANGO M.