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The nature of today’s Hajj (Islamic Pilgrimage) requires substantial planning and effort to provide support and infrastructure. An important problem facing the city of Makkah is managing the movement of vehicles and mass transit during Hajj. The huge number of people coming from all over the world and the nature of their activities in Makkah and Mashaer further complicate the problem. Different local authorities and private entities work together on various solutions to resolve these problems. Although some solutions have been implemented, with the increasing number of pilgrims more problems arise.
This paper demonstrates the development of a web-based Geographic Information System (GIS) of the traffic plan in Makkah and Mashaer during the period of Hajj. The system includes different layers representing different kinds of traffic network components such as primary roads, highways, and pedestrian walkways. Attribute data are integrated with each traffic network segment such as street names. The location and attributes of main features and land marks are also represented in other layers. On top of these layers, a layer of arrows representing allowed traffic direction at each road during two main periods (Taseed and Nafrah) has been drawn.
The web interface of the system provides two kinds of maps of traffic plan during Hajj. The first kind includes static maps (offline) available as JPG and PDF. The user can downloaded them into a PC, then use them without the Internet connection. The other kind includes interactive maps (online) that allow the user to interact with maps via the web interface. Through this interface, the user can navigate through maps (zooming in and out) and search the traffic network using attribute data such as street names.
Such web-based GIS can help people working in local authorities and private entities to be aware of the traffic plan before Hajj. It also can help pilgrims to know about the traffic plan from their countries before arriving Makkah. This will facilitate understanding and following traffic plans set for Hajj.