The California Department of Transportation Gets into the Map App Game

The department continues to build out its QuickMap application for real-time traffic information. An iOS version of QuickMap was released in February, after an Android version was made available in 2016.

by Kayla Nick-Kearney, TechWire / March 14, 2017
A screencap of QuickMap.

Caltrans, California’s Department of Transportation, continues to build out its QuickMap application for real-time traffic information.

An iOS version of QuickMap was released in February, after an Android version was made available in 2016. QuickMap originally was a Web map created in 2011.

The system is built off a Google Maps backbone but includes Caltrans and third-party data such as lane closures, CalFire fire updates and California Highway Patrol information.

“We pull the base map from Google. We also add in Caltrans-specific information, changeable message signs, chain controls and closures on the roadway,” said Caltrans IT Coordinator Mike Jenkinson.

In April 2016, Caltrans paired the QuickMap with Waze data to improve the real-time updates available through the app. Now the third-party data can provide updates about causes of traffic, including accident information and traffic camera stills.

Officials say the app versions of QuickMap on iOS and Android are free to download and use, and responds faster than the original, online version. The Android version was downloaded over 35,000 times since its release in August 2016, said Caltrans IT Solution Division Chief Tracy Geiszler said during a speech at a tech conference in Sacramento late last month.

“The implications of new technology, such as intelligent transportation systems, vehicle to infrastructure and infrastructure to infrastructure … are likely to transform the way people and goods move through the state of California,” Geiszler said.

Weather updates and snowplow updates will be added to QuickMap in the next year, and a separate version of the map and app will be made for the trucking and freight industry, officials said. QuickMap was built in-house using staff resources.

This article was originally published on Techwire.

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