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Esri and Waze team for smart city data

Mapped Waze data will be immediately available in all ArcGIS apps for use by traffic engineers and city planners

Waze is a free, crowdsourced traffic and navigation app
Waze is a free, crowdsourced traffic and navigation app

Location intelligence specialist, Esri, has announced Waze live alert data will soon be available in its ArcGIS Marketplace portal for free to members of the Waze Connected Citizens Programme.


The programme is a two-way sharing of publicly available traffic and road condition information which offers governments a stream of data, constantly updated in real-time, whenever required.


According to Waze, this enables personnel to make data-driven infrastructure decisions and improves the efficiency of incident response.


Waze, the free, crowdsourced traffic and navigation app, will be fully supported by ArcGIS Online, where its live feed of mapped traffic alerts and other information, such as accidents, congestion, and street damage, can be used in applications in minutes.


“Municipalities will be able to leverage near up-to-the-minute reports without having to write code or purchase additional software,” said Andrew Stauffer, manager of civic technology at Esri.


“Mapped Waze data will be available immediately in all ArcGIS apps, where traffic engineers and even city planners can use it to maintain and build safer, more efficient transportation systems.”


Municipal personnel like traffic engineers will be able to use this data to analyse where the biggest problems exist on the roads to create targeted solutions. For instance, by seeing exactly where the most crashes are occurring, engineers can know where they need to place more officers, replace street signs, or adjust the timing of traffic lights.


“The Waze Connected Citizens Programme is all about removing any barriers to innovation,” said Adam Fried, global partnerships manager, Waze.


“We want to help our partners leverage existing infrastructure and be able to make better data-driven decisions. Now, with just a couple of clicks, a city will be able to easily access and analyse Waze data within Esri ArcGIS and use those insights to improve roadway management and build safer roads for its citizens.”


Much of the information government organisations rely on to make decisions is becoming obsolete as communities are starting to use technology like sensors and drones to monitor the quality of roads, bridges and utilities, said Waze.


Waze’s Connected Citizens Programme aims to give municipalities the power to harness crowdsourced driver data to not only improve safety and congestion but also make better-informed decisions by giving planners an edge to start building infrastructure that meets the demands of a 21st century city.


Governments will be able to sign up for the free Waze Connected Citizens Programme and start working with the alert data in ArcGIS to create operational dashboards for their departments to use.


In a separate announcement Esri said it is developing ArcGIS Urban, a solution which aims to give urban planners and designers engaged in government, real estate, and engineering projects better city information so that they know the best places to build and develop.


ArcGIS Urban will visualise zoning codes, track project life cycles, and measure the impact of projects after completion. This all-in-one system will be accessible to the professionals who plan and build cities, whether for a city planning department or a real estate development company.


The challenges faced by some of the fastest-growing US cities are due largely to a disconnect between developers’ project designs and the regulatory codes defining what can be built and where.


In many cities, zoning code text is outdated, cumbersome, and confusing. The difficulty in interpreting and understanding it slows governments, stalls developers, and delays the ability of cities to meet citizens’ needs. ArcGIS Urban will help interpret these codes and make them readily available through an interactive online portal, adding efficiency to planning activities throughout the city, said Esri.


“Over the last few years, we have been averaging about 80 large development projects a year, and growth at this scale requires thoughtful planning,” said Carolyn Bennett, Boston Planning & Development Agency GIS supervisor.


“These new tools are putting powerful geospatial information into the hands of the city planners, providing access to a digital twin of Boston with dynamic zoning data that can be used to support important planning initiatives and streamline the design review process.”


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