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Online Map Routing and Real-Time Construction Information Disclosure Number: IPCOM000204071D
Publication Date: 2011-Feb-10
Document File: 3 page(s) / 106K

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Inefficiency in the interstate transportation systems due to well-known construction sites. The use of online mapping software for travel destination routing is pervasive at this point, whether done with GPS units, on the computer and printed, and increasingly on smart phones that can route from your current location. Once on these routes, travelers often find themselves in significantly long traffic delays, and must try to recalculate the best route possible from where they are. Often the detours are poor substitutes for simply waiting in line and still cost an enormous amount of inefficiency of people's time. Knowing this information in advance could have caused a completely different route to be chosen which may have redistributed the traffic more evenly across main routes, instead of the detours.

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Online Map Routing and Real-Time Construction Information

Current routing algorithms already handle alternate routes, and that would continue. The primary difference is the determination of "event points" along an intersection of those routes. These event points would be obtained from the different governmental data sources, and would be put into appropriate geographic location structures available to the routing algorithms. As with normal route planning, only those event points with the right coordinates that intersect the chosen routes would be included. Each event point would be displayed, along with the alternate routes. The user of the system can then determine the best route to chose.

The construction schedule should also be considered in the routing. If it is a temporary event, say from 1pm-4pm and user will be passing that point at 10am, then it might well be ignored.

The display of this information may vary between a GPS display and a web-site based map. For the GPS display, once the message "calculating route" is complete, a second message to indicate that a routing "event" has occurred can be displayed, such as "Alternate route chosen due to scheduled construction", where user could select information about the event or select the original or alternate route for turn-by-turn directions to continue. For the web-site based map, each route can be displayed with the construction location highlighted.

Future enhancements could include typical historic wait times for construction in similar locations, for better assessment of the alternate route. For example, if the historical average wait time for construction along I-20 between Atlanta and Birmingham is 25 minutes, and the alternative route through I-10 is 45 minutes longer, it might be better to wait in the traffic.

The uniqueness of the invention is the linkage of the location and schedule of the construction to the routing, and the ability to select an alternate route around that particular point. This gives the user the chance t...