FAQ

Table of Contents

Overview.. 2

What is trafficspeed.org ?. 2

Do you also provide navigation assistance?. 2

But there are other systems that do the same, what is different here?. 2

What does 'crowd based' mean?. 3

What does it cost to use trafficspeed.org?. 3

How much data are you transmitting from my handheld device?. 3

Where is the street data coming from?. 3

Safety. 3

How can I safely use trafficspeed.org?. 3

Getting started. 3

What do I need to get started?. 3

I only seem to see my own trace, why don't I see others?. 3

How can I see the speed of the traffic?. 4

How do I see how old the traffic information is?. 4

My screen saver comes on after a short time, how do I fix this?. 5

Traffic display: how do those icons show the traffic speed?. 5

Which countries are supported?. 5

Cell phone controls. 5

Display controls: What is the meaning of the icons I can see on my cell?. 5

What are the effects of different viewangle settings?. 6

Why can't I zoom in all the way?. 8

Why do I get the error message 'Can't find GPS location'?. 8

Customizing Routes. 8

My account at Trafficspeed.org. 8

How do I set up my routes?. 8

Privacy Disclaimer: 11

What kind of information are you storing?. 11

Are you sharing this information with other users?. 11

Are you storing or sharing any other information?. 11

I don't want others to see the trace to my home!. 11

Disclaimer of Liability. 11

 

 

 

Overview

What is trafficspeed.org ?

 

trafficspeed.org is a crowd based traffic guidance system. It is meant to be used for GPS enabled cell phones and shows the speed of traffic in your area.

trafficspeed.org is geared towards commuters who have a couple of routes they can take to work but who need up-to-date data to make a decision which route to take.

Do you also provide navigation assistance?

No we don't, there are plenty of other providers that do this.

But there are other systems that do the same, what is different here?

trafficspeed.org is optimized for your daily commute where you need a very detailed and up-to-date picture of the traffic ahead of you. Existing systems show the flow of traffic with a time delay and you can't see how old the data is and you don't really know how many data points were used. trafficspeed.org shows you the speed of traffic, with a detailed position of this data as well as an indicator for the age of the information.

trafficspeed.org also allows a custom setup, e.g. a user can program his/her routes to work and then only show the traffic on those routes.

What does 'crowd based' mean?

Speed information is provided and shared by individuals. Every user transmits the current speed, direction and location to get a picture of the traffic in the area.

What does it cost to use trafficspeed.org?

The use of trafficspeed.org is free! However, your cell phone provider may charge you for wireless access to the internet.

How much data are you transmitting from my handheld device?

It's difficult to give a general answer since the amount of data depends on the individual usage behavior, but Trafficspeed.org is designed to minimize data volume between the handheld device and the server. After the initial access to the server at system start, subsequent accesses are every 25 seconds and only incremental data is being transmitted. When the location reaches the end of the visible display area, the screen is re-centered and a new set of data is requested from the server. However, users would usually have a low zoom level to see the traffic miles ahead and re-centering the display move shouldn't happen very often.

Where is the street data coming from?

Street data is courtesy of openstreetmap.org. 'OpenStreetMap is a free editable map of the whole world. It is made by people like you. OpenStreetMap allows you to view, edit and use geographical data in a collaborative way from anywhere on Earth'.

Safety

How can I safely use trafficspeed.org?

You have to make sure to use a safe mounting device so that your cell phone doesn't impact your driving. Don't operate your cell phone while driving!

Getting started

What do I need to get started?

Not much, the web interface has full functionality and lets you use the system without the need to install anything. You can get to the traffic page by clicking on the 'Start' button in trafficspeed.org

I only seem to see my own trace, why don't I see others?

If you don't see any other traffic then this means that there is no one else in the area that is using this tool. We're currently in beta-testing mode and that's a problem that comes with a crowd based tool. If you want better coverage in your area, ask some buddies or coworkers to use the tool so you can get a better coverage!

How can I see the speed of the traffic?

The color of the speed markers indicates the speed the car was traveling at. There is a legend at the left side that helps to translate color to traffic speed:

How do I see how old the traffic information is?

Markers get smaller over time and eventually disappear. Currently the marker size is set to change after 5 min, 15 min, 30 min and 60 min

Here is an illustration:

Traffic less than 5 minutes old would look like this:

After 15 min the markers get a little smaller:

After 30 min they are pretty small

After 60 min the traffic is not shown anymore since traffic speed from an hour ago isn't really relevant anymore:

My screen saver comes on after a short time, how do I fix this?

If you're running this from your web browser, the application can't control your screen saver settings. You could change your settings on your cell (increasing the time-out), but it would also apply to all other applications so you may not want to do this. The best way to address this is to use dedicated applications for trafficspeed.org. We have applications for Android and for the iPhone under development.

Traffic display: how do those icons show the traffic speed?

Traffic speed is shown with those little arrows. The color of the arrow indicates the speed, green is fast, red is slow. There is a color legend on the bottom left. The size of the arrows shows the age of the data. Currently the age limit is set to 90 min, during this time the arrows get smaller and after 90 minutes they get removed. With enough data you should only see speed information that is a couple of minutes old.

Which countries are supported?

The system works worldwide even though the creating of map data is still going on. If you are an early adopter and run into some missing map data, feel free to contact us and we'll be happy to work on the map data for your area first.

Cell phone controls 

Display controls: What is the meaning of the icons I can see on my cell?

The first two icons are zoom-in and zoom-out. 

  This icon allows you to switch between mph (e.g. in the US) or km/h display

If you have custom routes programmed, the previous icon switches to a 'zoom-fit' icon that fits your routes into the window.

There are four different view angle options that you can select by clicking on the viewangle icon:

The full circle indicates 360 deg view angle, so all traffic is displayed

The half circle indicates 180 deg view angle so only traffic in +/- 90 deg of your driving direction is shown

The quarter circle narrows the view angle even further, only traffic in +/- 45 deg of your driving direction is shown

The 4th viewangle option is only available if you saved custom routes with your trafficspeed.org account. With this option you only see traffic along your custom routes.

The last icon shown is the color legend that lets you translate the color of the traffic into speed.

 

 

 

 

What are the effects of different viewangle settings?

The 360 deg viewangle setting will eventually become confusing since we see the traffic in both directions at the same time:

Switching to 180 deg or 90 deg view angle will only show the traffic in driving direction.

 

With the 'routes only' setting you will only see the traffic in your driving direction on the routes you programmed. Note: you will only see this option if you registered your route at trafficspeed.com

 

Why can't I zoom in all the way?

We are only providing map data until zoom level 15 since the system is supposed to show the traffic in the distance.

Why do I get the error message 'Can't find GPS location'?

If you're using a personal computer, you should only see this the first time you're using the software on your computer. The software will try to determine your location via your Internet Service Provider (ISP) but this doesn't always work. Once you get a location, it will save a cookie and the next time it will use the previously stored location.

Customizing Routes

My account at Trafficspeed.org

You need an account at trafficspeed.org to customize your own setup. Account setup is easy, you only need a valid email address where we'll send you an email to verify you email address, that's all.

How do I set up my routes?

Click on 'My Routes' in the main menu. You're going to see a list of your current routes.

The first time you won't have any routes yet and it's going to look like this:

Click on 'add new route' to create your first route.

After entering a start and end point the route can be saved. Waypoints can be used along the route to guide the routing tool. Points can be entered by typing an address into the form or by clicking onto the icon and then onto a location on the map.

Select a name and save your route.

You can add waypoints to guide the route different ways:

 

If you saved both routes then you should see both in your list of routes:

 

The next time you look at your maps, it will highlight the new routes:

Your routes can now used to only highlight the traffic on your routes.

Privacy Disclaimer: 

What kind of information are you storing?

We are storing your speed, heading and location.

Are you sharing this information with other users?

Absolutely, we are storing speed, heading and location so that others can see it. This is the whole point of this system, the speed information you're seeing is the sum of all the traffic in your area.

Are you storing or sharing any other information?

We are not sharing any other information. During beta testing phase we're also logging access latency numbers to optimize the system.

I don't want others to see the trace to my home!

We don't store or share any information that could associate the data with individual users. However, in case you're concerned you could turn off the application a couple of blocks from your house when you don't need the traffic information anymore.

Disclaimer of Liability

Trafficspeed.org makes information available through its web site to improve traffic flows. We attempt to provide accurate, complete, and timely information. Trafficspeed.org, however, cannot guarantee the quality, content, accuracy, or completeness of the information, text, graphics, links, and other items contained on its web pages. We also retain the right to change any content on our web sites without prior notice.

Trafficspeed.org assumes no liability for any damages or loss of any kind that might arise from the use of, misuse of the web site and/or the materials contained on the web site. Trafficspeed.org also assumes no liability for improper or incorrect use of materials or information contained on its web site. All materials that appear on the web site are distributed and transmitted "as is," without warranties of any kind, either express or implied, and subject to the terms and conditions stated in this disclaimer.