February 28, 2007 3:30 PM PST

Google Maps adds real-time traffic data

Google has added real-time traffic data for several major cities to its mapping service, the company said Wednesday.

The traffic information is integrated with Google Maps and is available in more than 30 American cities, including San Francisco, Dallas, Chicago and New York.

The data is provided for major highways and is color-coded to signify traffic conditions: green means no congestion; yellow is for minor holdups; and red means significant slowdowns.

According to Google product manager Carl Sjogreen, the data is aggregated from several sources, including road sensors, as well as car and taxi fleets.

As a result, Sjogreen said, there is sometimes not enough data to report road conditions. In that case, the roads appear gray.

For the time being, he added, Google will provide traffic data only for major highways, but it may expand the offering eventually.

"We're always looking to improve the comprehensiveness of our traffic information and our coverage areas over time," Sjogreen said.

Google is not the only company providing real-time online traffic data. Yahoo Maps also offers the service and provides symbols designating specific traffic incidents. But its color-coding for traffic flow is hard to understand.

Google's maps show only traffic flow, however, and not specific incidents.

Other services offering online traffic data include 511.org, as well as news sites like SFGate.com and Boston.com.

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8 comments

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up to date images
Google Earth's image of my home is three years old, and they expect to do up to date traffic, hahahaha
Posted by steelpig (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
well, yeah
It's much easier to do up to date traffic reports then it is to rescan
the entire earth by satelite every few weeks. I'll bet the roads
haven't changed much in your neighborhood in the last 3 years (I
could be wrong of course, but it's still a pretty safe bet. Besides,
they're only doing this for major highways at this time - have you
had any of those added over the last few years?)
Posted by Dalkorian (3000 comments )
Link Flag
More Traffic Resources
Via ResourceShelf:
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.resourceshelf.com/2007/03/01/google-joins-yahoo-and-many-others-in-offering-traffic-info/" target="_newWindow">http://www.resourceshelf.com/2007/03/01/google-joins-yahoo-and-many-others-in-offering-traffic-info/</a>


Sometimes it's useful to actually see where you'll be driving. <a href="http://Trafficland.com">Trafficland.com</a> aggregates traffic cameras in many U.S. cities, Canada, Denmark, New Zealand, and UK (London*). Btw, <a href="http://SkylineGlobe.com">SkylineGlobe</a> (a digital globe service, free) let's you embed live traffic cams (via TrafficLand) on top of the aerial imagery for many metro areas.

California <a href="http://www.caltrans.ca.gov/roadsandtraffic.html">offers this page</a> with full motion traffic video and real time access to the <a href="http://cad.chp.ca.gov/">California Highway Patrol Traffic Incident database</a>. The page even auto-refreshes every 60 seconds.

Mobile? Well, <a href="http://Trafficland.com">Trafficland</a> offers a a mobile version for the metro D.C. area (fee-based) and the <a href="http://service.nyctmc.org/mobile/">City of New York offers a mobile version</a> of their traffic cam site.

Almost forgot, <a href="http://autos.msn.com/partners/sponsorpage.aspx?page=traffic">MSN Auto offers real-time traffic incident maps</a> and traffic alerts via email or SMS. You can also find traffic info on <a href="http://maps.live.com/?q=&FORM=BD">MS Live Search</a>.

Finally, <a href="http://Traffic.com">Traffic.com</a>. This service is feature packed and is free. Some of what they offer includes:
+ Personalized traffic info (you create a route(s)). Info delivered online, via RSS, SMS, email.
+ Metro area RSS feeds.
+ <a href="http://www.traffic.com/TrafficOnComputer.html">Incident alerts via email or SMS</a>.
+ <a href="http://mobi.traffic.com">Mobile site</a>.
+ Phone tools. In other words, dial a phone number (1-866 MY-TRAFC) and traffic info is read to you.
+ Traffic.com also offers cameras via TrafficLand.

* You can also find live <a href="http://www.tfl.gov.uk/streets/capitalcams/camlist.shtml">traffic cameras for London, UK here</a> as well as <a href="http://trafficalerts.tfl.gov.uk/pinpointlite/main.php">this London traffic incident map</a>.
Posted by gprice100 (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
local.live.com
Don't forget local.live.com they have been offering real-time traffic reports for a long time now, also the overlay they use is transparent so you can still see the road details unlike the google one which blocks out details on the map.
Posted by themightycoder (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Correction: Canada
Error in my previous post.

TrafficLand does not offer Canadian traffic cams. However, you can find cameras for 10 cities/provinces aggregated here
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.theweathernetwork.com/features/camtraffic/index.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.theweathernetwork.com/features/camtraffic/index.htm</a>

Traffic cams for Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa ARE part of the SkylineGlobe (<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.skylineglobe.com" target="_newWindow">http://www.skylineglobe.com</a>) service.

More Canadian info:
+ <a href="http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/traveller/compass/camera/camhome.htm">Toronto Cams and Traffic Flow Maps</a>
+ <a href="http://www.mtq.gouv.qc.ca/en/information/cameras/index.asp">Quebec Traffic Cams</a>
+ <a href="http://www.vancouver.com/community/webcams/bc_highway_traffic_cams/index.htm">Vancouver Traffic Cams</a>
+ <a href="http://www.ama.ab.ca/roadreports">Alberta</a> and <a href="http://65.104.36.247/">Calgary (Map)</a>
+ For Other Provinces, <a href="http://www.ama.ab.ca/roadreports">Look in the Right Rail</a> for "Provincial Road Reports"
Posted by gprice100 (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Live Local is so much better than Google Maps
Live Local (<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://local.live.com" target="_newWindow">http://local.live.com</a>) has had that for a long time and still has a lot of other features that you won't find in Google Maps, one of my favorites being bird's eye views.
Posted by chaytoph (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Traffic cams and maps on Windows Mobile devices
Also check out www.vizzion.com for traffic cameras and maps on Windows Mobile devices.
Posted by vancouverchap (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
 

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