Been using the MMDA Traffic Monitoring system for several weeks now but have not really blogged about it since I was waiting for an Android App or an iPad App. But, it looks like TV5 and MMDA has already officially launched the service the other night after being on beta for about a month.
If you follow @mmda on Twitter, you know you can actually ask them about traffic situation in certain areas and get answers instantly.
However, it would be nice if you can just pull it up on-demand. That’s what the MMDA Traffic Navigator does. It’s a visual microsite that shows traffic situation along EDSA and C5.
The site offers 3 visual interfaces that show live traffic conditions along the major roads in 15-minute intervals (it’s not really live but 15 minutes should be enough). Of the three, I liked the System View the most (there’s the Line Item view and Google Maps View). You can filter the results for Northbound or Southbound traffic as well.
Traffic is rated as Heavy, Moderate or Light with corresponding color codes. Just click on the POI (point of interest and more details will pop up on the screen.)
The microsite is best viewed on a laptop/netbook or tablet (renders very well on the iPad). It’s usable on smaller smartphones since you can always zoom in or out of the map.
Here’s some more improvements that, I think, should be included in future updates.
Get the apps out soon — Android, iOS, Symbian (we’re still a Nokia country) and BlackBerry. I hear they’re doing a beta on the iOS now. An Adobe Air app could be of good use for netbooks and laptops too. Probably extend the traffic monitor to more areas like Kalayaan, Shaw Boulevard, Katipunan, etc. I understand MMDA has live cameras along these routes. Maybe a screenshot of the actual traffic in those locations will give commuters more qualitative information on how heavy or light the traffic is. The site is currently hosted on mmdatraffic.interaksyon.com which is a bit too long to remember or verbally share. A URL shorter or domain (traffic.ph) would do or maybe something like traffic.mmda.gov.ph. I understand this is a joint project with TV5 so they’d want to host it on their domain but a URL redirect can fix that too. They also should put a disclaimer at the bottom of the website that says “This is where your taxes go”. *jk*
The MMDA Traffic Navigator is a really good start and I’m glad some branches of the government are catching up with the times and employing some really usable online services (we featured the DTI Mapping Project in Bohol earlier).