Minimizing the Gap of Public Transportation Service
In Taiwan, when Directorate General of Highways (DGH) and the local administrations meet together to evaluate the intercity and city bus routes, their common objective is to accurately find the areas with high demands through a reliable decision support system (DSS). With the help of a powerful DSS, the government officials will be able to assess whether to add a new route or adjust the old one. The DSS should also have route simulation functions. Therefore, the authorities can rapidly set up the evaluation indicators and create virtual bus routes for the areas with high demands. By doing so, the assessment becomes more effective and efficient, reducing the costs of field observation.
The previous DSS for transit service assessment used by DGH only displays the map in 2D and does not provide the tools for real-time route editing. Due to this constraint, when evaluating a route, it can only perform one-dimensional data analysis, leaving an entire, multi-dimensional evaluation unattainable. In addition, the previous development using 3D technology focuses on 3D building models. Limited cases have combined the route planning and the route flyover function with the DSS. With the increasing need for route assessment in recent times, it is necessary implementing more advanced GIS technology to augment the DSS and let the decision making even timelier.
After a thorough discussion with DGH, Supergeo’s project team decided to achieve the goals with the following steps.
- Introduce TGOS 3D API, the 3D web GIS API based on the tech of SuperGIS 3D Earth Server, to mark the existing bus stops on 3D web maps. And then, provide the stops editing functions, which includes the functions of point creating and deleting. Also, the route planning functions are added to enable users to change the order of stops and to calculate the assessment indicators according to its result. The above steps helped users edit route data in real-time and also improve the performance and data quality of DSS.
- Introduce the function of flyover so that users can fly along the simulated routes and view the street information from above. That allows users to have a multi-dimensional view to explore and experience the space thoroughly.
Results & Benefits
Structure of the Upgraded DSS:
Fig. 1 The user interface of upgraded DSS
The new system significantly enhances the capability of web map by integrating realistic 3D scenes and detailed information of bus stops. With these new features, the system would help users obtain the assessment indicators of new bus routes rapidly and understand the overall pros and cons of them. This useful information would greatly assist the authority to plan a new bus route or adjust an old one. Furthermore, except for evaluating the new route from the indicators, users can take advantage of 3D techs by flying along the route and examining the road condition, such as the width and the number of lanes.
Editing Routes and Stops on 3D Maps
The system is based on the 3D web mapping system and connects to the bus stop data from Public Transport data eXchange of MOTC (Ministry of Transportation and Communications). The database of SEGIS (Socio-Economic Geographic Information System) contributes the demographic data and road width data. Because all this data and functions are implemented with an easy-to-use UI, users can set up the service area and know the service status of each stop through simple operations on the map.
Fig. 2 The service areas covered by different stops
By adding this function to the DSS, users can easily learn how the route changes after the adjustment. Therefore, analysts can adjust the bus route multiple times to find the optimal one.
Fig. 3 Finding the optimal route by simulation
Calculating Assessment Indicators
Users can search the population served by each stop and other socio-economic data. Then, the route planning results can be integrated with that data to calculate the advanced assessment indicators, such as coverage rate and repetition rate. Also, it allows users to compare the results of the new route to the old one.
Fig. 4 Checking the coverage and repetition rate
By flying along the virtual route created by the system, users can immediately examine the condition of the road, reducing the workforce spent on the field inspection.
Fig. 5 Checking the surroundings by the Flyover Function