Blog Feature

Big Data | Software Updates | Transportation | Validation

New 2017 AADT Estimates: It’s Time to Ditch Temporary Counts for Big Data Analytics

August 15, 2018

To quote Shawn Turner of the Texas Transportation Institute, “Using road tubes to collect traffic volume data is a proven method, but it’s an old practice and puts people in harm’s way.” Well, what if you could get high quality annual average daily traffic (AADT) count estimates for any roadway in just a few minutes – without leaving your office? What if those estimates were as good or better than your typical two-day tube or modeled count?

We think on-demand AADT estimates could improve the way public agencies allocate roadway maintenance funding. Your staff could spend less time installing and monitoring sensors on dangerous roadsides – and more time improving infrastructure. StreetLight Data is making this possible with the launch of our StreetLight Volume: 2017 AADT Estimates in StreetLight InSight®, our on-demand transportation analytics platform. We believe they are the most accurate Big Data derived AADT estimates to hit the industry to date. (And we’re happy to show you why.)

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Blog Feature

Big Data | Software Updates

5 Inspirational Chord Diagrams: Visualizing Data

August 3, 2018

Data visualization is one of our favorite topics here at StreetLight Data. Since we first got started in 2011, our team has iterated on countless visualization options for our transportation analytics. Bar graphs and heat maps have long served as our trusty standbys – but these days, we’re thinking bigger. In our latest software release, we added two brand-new visualization types to StreetLight InSight®: the “heat matrix” and the “chord diagram.” You can join our upcoming training session to find out how these new visualizations work.  In this blog article, I’ll share five fascinating chord diagrams to show you why they’re becoming my #1 go-to StreetLight InSight visualization. (New to StreetLight Data? StreetLight InSight is our on-demand transportation analytics platform.)

So, why get so excited about a new type of diagram? Well, chord diagrams are a particularly powerful tool for analyzing complex, interconnected data streams. Unlike travel pattern heat maps, our chord diagrams allow you to quickly comprehend the magnitude of different flows, and compare the flow of traffic between several areas at once. The thickness is more intuitive for comparing total trip volume and scale than colors on a heatmap. As you’ll see in the examples that follow, chord diagrams are useful not only for transportation but for all types of data analysis.

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Blog Feature

Big Data | Corridor Studies | Location-Based Services | Transportation | Uncategorized

The Best I-95 Rest Stops (According to Big Data)

July 27, 2018

Now that we’re in the full swing of summer here on the East Coast, my friends and family have been taking road trips along I-95 – and for better or for worse, rest stops are an inevitable part of those trips. A few weekends ago, my parents’ car broke down on their way back home from New York, but fortunately they were able to make it to a rest stop. As my mom texted me from the rest stop parking lot, waiting for a tow truck at 11pm, I started to wonder: How many other people were at rest stops at such a late hour? Who else might be there with my parents? Was this rest stop typically a busy one?

It wasn’t long before I realized that, as a StreetLight Data employee, I had the answers at my fingertips – it was just a matter of running a study with StreetLight InSight®, our on-demand transportation analytics platform. In this post, I’ll show you what I found out and share a few tips to help you plan your own road trip this summer.

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Blog Feature

Big Data | public transit | Smart Cities | Transportation

From Multimodal to Omnimodal: Living Today’s Transportation Reality

July 20, 2018

After nearly 6 years at StreetLight Data, my transportation nerdiness is firmly cemented. Every time I take a trip, I research the various modes of transportation available to reach my destination, then carefully plan my itinerary. Frankly, I enjoy the challenge of combining modes in the most efficient way possible. Trip-planning smartphone apps like GoogleMaps are simplifying this process for non-transportation nerds, too. For me, the most efficient mode of travel generally means the fastest, but carbon emissions contributions and cost are always important considerations as well.

My personal multimodal challenge was elevated to a new level on a recent trip that combined business travel for a customer training with personal travel for a family wedding. Not only were these two locations in different states (neither of which I live in), but the wedding was somewhat of a destination, and it was not terribly accessible for visitors from far away. In this article, I’ll use my travel experience to illustrate how today’s journeys can quickly become so multimodal that you might even call them “omnimodal.”

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Blog Feature

Big Data | Case Studies | Corridor Studies | Traffic | Transportation

Planning Louisiana’s Bridges: 3 Big Data Case Studies

July 12, 2018

Big Data has become a flashy buzzword in the transportation industry: It’s a hot topic at conferences, and everyone is talking about the potential of new location data resources. But just talking about Big Data doesn’t accomplish anything. Here at StreetLight Data, we think it’s time to go beyond the buzzword. That’s why we tapped transportation engineers Thomas Montz and Luis Alvergue of Arcadis in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to share their experience using Big Data for transportation planning on our blog.

In the article that follows, Thomas and Luis will explain how they used StreetLight InSight® for three different bridge-focused projects in Louisiana. (New to StreetLight Data? StreetLight InSight is our platform for transforming locational Big Data from mobile devices into actionable transportation analytics.)

- The StreetLight Data Editorial Team

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Blog Feature

Big Data | Commercial Trucks | Transportation

Trucks and the Port of Virginia: An HRTPO Case Study

June 22, 2018

The Port of Virginia is one of the largest ports on the East Coast, with over 1.6 million containers moving through the port in 2017. The port is only a day’s drive from two-thirds of the US population, making Hampton Roads, Virginia a hot spot for commercial trucking activity. With over 60% of cargo transported out of the port by commercial trucks, understanding the travel behavior of trucks is critical to manage the impact of commercial trucking and maintain the regional highway infrastructure. In this blog article, I will share how StreetLight Data's transportation analytics are helping the local planning agency address this issue.

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Blog Feature

Big Data | public transit | Smart Cities | Traffic | Transportation

Our New Multimodal Measurement Initiative

June 6, 2018

We are rapidly moving into a world where one person can easily use six different modes of transportation in a single day. Mobility behavior is becoming more complex. As a result, transportation planners need to be able to analyze past behavior, measure current changes, and forecast future demand for more modes of travel than their predecessors.

Every type of travel counts, from bike shares to the "gig economy" created by transportation network providers and delivery apps. Unfortunately, not every mode is being counted. It’s simply not possible with conventional transportation data collection methods.

That's why StreetLight Data launched our new Multimodal Measurement InitiativeOur goal is to launch a new suite of Metrics. These Metrics will measure brand-new modes, older modes of transport that have always been difficult to measure, and how all of these modes interact. Do you want to participate?

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Blog Feature

Big Data | public transit | Smart Cities | Traffic | Transportation

Transportation Policies and Equity: A Bay Area Regional Ballot Initiative

June 3, 2018

StreetLight Data is located in San Francisco CA, so many of our staff are voting next week on a Regional Ballot Initiative with considerable equity implications. It’s called Regional Measure 3. In short, it would increase tolls on all eight Bay Area bridges that are currently tolled. Thus, by the end of the six years, each toll will be $3 more expensive than it is now. The would raise an estimated $4.5B during the six years, all of which would go to fund a set of 35 highway and transit projects across the Bay Area. If you want more details, here’s an article from our local National Public radio station, KQED: “10 Things to Know: Regional Measure 3, the Proposed Bay Area Bridge Toll Increase”.

I used StreetLight InSight® (that’s our on-demand transportation analytics platform) to get a better understanding of the equity implications of the toll increase.  (Note: StreetLight Data does not currently endorse any political candidates or initiatives.)

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Blog Feature

Big Data | Corridor Studies | Smart Cities | Traffic | Transportation | Uncategorized

Travel Planning for Memorial Day – The Data-Driven Way

May 24, 2018

Memorial Day has a rich history of honoring soldiers who sacrificed their lives in service to their country. However, it’s also a travel-filled holiday weekend that signals the beginning of summer for many Americans. These days, it seems like most Memorial Day conversations revolve around traffic, congestion, and busy airports. Just try searching for "Memorial Day" on Google. You’ll see that about half of the search results are about holiday-related transportation challenges. This Memorial Day, I was determined to commemorate the holiday and spend memorable time with my family and friends –  not stress about my travel plans. I didn’t want the experience of getting from point A to point B to distract me from the holiday's real meaning.

Like the avid planner I am, there were several questions swirling around my head while thinking about this trip. How bad will the traffic be when I head to the airport? When should I leave my house so I don’t miss my flight? Luckily, I work at StreetLight Data, and I can use our StreetLight InSight® platform to answer transportation questions quickly and easily. In this blog post, I’ll show you how I did it. (StreetLight InSight is our easy-to-use web application for turning Big Data from mobile devices into actionable transportation analytics.)

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Blog Feature

Big Data | Corridor Studies | Smart Cities | Traffic | Transportation

Traffic Diagnostics: A Congestion Busting and Travel Demand Management Tool

May 21, 2018

StreetLight Data's new Traffic Diagnostics tool is officially available for public agencies and engineering firms across the continental US. It's a game-changing new feature in StreetLight InSight®, our on-demand platform for turning Big Data from mobile devices into actionable transportation analytics. Watch our latest video blog from StreetLight Data's Laura Schewel to learn how Traffic Diagnostics can help you bust congestion with data-driven travel demand management solutions.

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