Work TripRisk

A simple site that uses open data to demonstrate how visualisation can increase community awareness of high crash zones in Victoria.

triprisk

By looking at the data in the context of a journey made everyday, it helps a user understand that these crashes are closer to their day-to-day lives than first thought.

How safe is your commute?

The team objective was to build a user friendly site using the open data ‘Crash Stats’ to demonstrate how this information can be shared through a simple visualisation to increase community awareness of high crash zones in Victoria.

Trip Risk tells a story of the number of crashes along a users route. Any member of the public can access the site, and understand the data by visualising their personal commute to work or school.

By looking at the data in the context of a journey made everyday, it helps a user understand that these crashes are closer to their day-to-day lives than first thought.

The improved presentation helps people relate to risk as individuals and as a result, drive, walk or cycle more carefully in high crash areas. We wanted people to ask questions, be curious, and recognise the benefit of knowledge sharing through open data.

Storytelling through maps

We wanted individuals to relate to the ‘Crash Stats’ data through a clear visualisation that relates to their daily routine.

The crash marker is graduated by size to represent the total number of crashes at the given location, with a red overlapping symbol indicating one or more fatalities.

Summary statistics can be found by clicking on crash locations and the map presents crashes within 20 metres of your route. This visualisation also provides an important service for the Victorian community by highlighting areas which may need road maintenance or an intersection redesign to help reduce crash numbers.

To create this map we used MapQuest for route calculation and Nokia for Geocoding. Map tiles are served by Mapbox and crash data is stored and visualised by the very beautiful, and very powerful, CartoDB.

Responsive

It is designed to be responsive to mobile devices and it runs cross platform so it can be widely distributed.

Prior to Trip Risk, ‘Crash Stats’ data was only available through a Java app launched from compatible web browsers. The presentation of the data was not suitable for consumption by the general public.

Evan Quick from VicRoads explains, "VicRoads crash data has been 'open' for a while, but not particularly accessible or easy to use. The Trip Risk team has managed to take this data and turn it into an application that makes road safety issues visible to everyone in a very personal way.”

“By allowing the public to plot their favourite routes and immediately visualise the crash history and relative risk of those routes, the information immediately has more impact and all sorts of hidden value is uncovered in the data."

The Development framework for Trip Risk is based on modern javascript development frameworks (AngularJS). The CartoDB.js library can be easily integrated with other services like MapQuest routing api, Google Charts, and the Nokia Here geocoding service.

The CartoDB SQL API allowed us to combine data from each of these services to produce a dynamic and seamless experience.

Result

TripRisk was featured in both hardcopy and online Australian newspapers and there was a lot of interest both within and outside the spatial community. Craig Butt, data journalist from The Age, explained analytics “showed readers stayed on the site using the embedded TripRisk iframe in the online article, well after reading the article.”

This project was important to successfully demonstrate the community interest in open data and show the spatial community the power of open data and encourage companies and government to continue releasing more data.