Home Articles Intelligent transport system using GIS

Intelligent transport system using GIS

Dr Praveen Kumar
Assistant Professor, Transportation Engineering Section

Dhanunjaya Reddy, Varun Singh
Post Graduate Student, Civil Engineering Department, Indian Institute, of Technology, Roorkee-247 667, Uttaranchal

1. Introduction
Mobility enables us to separate home from work and visit friends and family, as well as to allow us to do business across a wider region. Transportation has the ability to provide some powerful benefits to society. In addition to supporting specialization, transportation provides us with the sort of mobility and accessibility we need to live our lives in the way we want to live them. Generally, there is widely accepted link between economic well-being and good transportation. However, the picture is not all rosy. There is a price to pay for good transportation. This comes in the form of undesirable side effects such as environmental impacts, energy consumption, land take, congestion, casualties and money required to build infrastructure. Growing concern about the impact of these undesirable side effects has influenced most developed countries to move away from the “build it and they will come,” infrastructure-intensive, capital-intensive transportation strategies, toward more balanced and sustainable transportation solutions. There Intelligent Transport System (ITS) comes into picture and it holds the promise of sustainability. Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) is the name given to the application of computer and communications technologies to transport problems. In a rapidly changing society the emphasis on road technology improvements to assist in road management has been identified. The rapid advances in ITS technologies have enabled the collection of data or intelligence which provides relevant and timely information to road managers and users.

Japanese seems to have initiated the whole modern day notion of ITS with work carried out in the 1980s. The United States was also addressing the application of ITS at an early stage in the course of the Electronic Route Guidance project (ERGS) in the 1970’s. The European Union picked up the theme, and referred to it as Road Transport Informatics. In the course of time the name of this technology subjected to many changes until USA had given a name called ITS to it. Intelligent Transport systems include wider application of technology to transit systems as well as private car and highways. Benefits given by ITS to any transportation system by introducing it are, improved safety, improved traffic efficiency, reduced congestion, improved environmental quality & energy efficiency and improved economic productivity.

Keeping traffic moving is the big challenge that all levels of government are facing worldwide. Private travelers, commercial road users, and the public sector are continually searching for new and faster travel routes. Without quality and dynamic data, route selection is often a hit and misses guessing game. The old adage, ‘knowledge is power’ is the obvious solution to the traffic problem. Customers want real-time information to help them select the best route to take at any given time. They need to know traffic speeds, incidents (accidents or lane closures), and road conditions. With Advanced Traveler Information Systems (ATIS) information, drivers make informed decisions and are better equipped to plan their route and estimate their travel time. Fast and accurate information translates into several benefits for ATIS customers such as reduction in travel time, reduction in stress levels, the avoidance of congestion, and perhaps the most important benefit, the avoidance of unsafe driving conditions.

The ultimate solution has a big mandate. Critical features include accuracy, timeliness, and reliability. The ideal solution is an up-to-the minute traffic information system that enables drivers to make more intelligent travel decisions at any time of the day and any day of the week. There is wide scenario of problems, which are specific to India, and indigenous solutions are required to suit its requirement. The countries like USA, Canada, Japan, U.K., Australia and Germany which have embarked upon intelligent transport system (ITS) don’t have scarcity of funds. Considering these facts, India needs a system, which is cost effective, and efficient, at the same time is also compatible with the present level of development in the country in the related areas.

   

2. Package Development

2.1 Mechanism
Developing Advanced Traveler Information System (ATIS) in Geographic Information System (GIS) is main objective of current project. In this system shortest path, closest facility and city bus routes were included. Besides these features location wise information and inter city traveler information like bus, train and airways timing are also included. Mechanism involved in the development of package is described in following sections.

2.1.1 Shortest path
Route planning is a process that helps vehicle drivers to plan a route prior to or during a journey. It is widely recognized as a fundamental issue in the field of transportation. A variety of route optimization criteria or planning criteria may be used in route planning. The quality of a route depends on many factors such as distance, travel time, travel speed and number of turns. These all factors all can be referred as travel cost. Some drivers may prefer the shortest path based on distance and some prefer based on travel time [11].

The route selection criteria can be either fixed by a design or implemented via a selectable user interface. In the current project route selection is via user interface. In the optimization of the travel distance (road segment length), distance was stored in digital data base and the route planning algorithm was used. In the optimization of travel time, road segment length and speed limit on that road are stored in digital data base and travel time was calculated (distance/speed limit). The calculated travel time was used as travel cost in the performance of path optimization.

2.1.2 Closest facility
In the closest facility problem route length and travel time (drive time) were considered as travel costs. Different facilities like hospitals, bus stations, and tourist places were taken as themes in the project. Closest facility algorithm calculates all the routes from selected origin to facilities based on travel cost. It compares travel costs of these routes and gives one optimal route as output [1].

2.1.3 City bus routes
City buses with their numbers were stored in a data base in a compressed format because on one road segment there will be more than one bus. A search algorithm was used to find bus service number from selected origin and destination. According to bus number, road segments on the map were selected and highlighted with different color. The schematic flow chart of the package is shown as Fig 1.

2.3 Source Program
The source program for this package has been written in Avenue programming language. Avenue is object-oriented and scripting language for ArcView GIS. Customization of the package was done in Avenue. The source code was divided into many numbers of scripts because in Avenue language functions or procedures are not available. Each script is used for a specified purpose.

   

2.4 Software Development for Hyderabad City
Software used in the development of current project is

  • ArcView GIS version 3.1
  • Network Analyst version 1.1b
  • Avenue programming language

Brief description of the software is as follows


Fig 1 Flow chart of mechanism in the package

2.4.1 ArcView GIS version 3.1
ArcView GIS software is a desktop GIS with an easy-to-use, point-and-click graphical user interface (GUI) that lets us easily load spatial and tabular data so we can display the data as maps, tables, and charts. ArcView provides the tools we need to query and analyze the data and present results as presentation-quality maps.

2.4.2 Network Analyst
The ArcView Network Analyst is an extension product designed to use networks more efficiently. It can solve common network problems on any theme containing lines that connect.

   

2.4.3 Avenue
ArcView scripts are macros written in Avenue, ArcView’s programming language and development environment. With Avenue we can customize almost every aspect of ArcView, from adding a new button to run a script we write, to creating an entire custom application that we can distribute. Work plan for present study is shown in the flow chart shown as Fig 2. The different steps involved in the work plan are:

2.5 Geo-Referencing
Raster data is obtained by scanning maps or collecting aerial photographs and satellite images. Scanned maps don’t usually contain information as to where the area represented on the map fits on the surface of the earth. The location information delivered with aerial photos and satellite imaginary is often inadequate to perform analysis or display in proper alignment with other data. To establish the relationship between an image (row, column) coordinate system and a map (x, y) coordinate system we need to align or georeference the raster data (image).


Fig 2 Work plan flow chart

2.6 Digitizing
Digitizing is a process of encoding geographic features in digital form as x, y coordinates. It is carried out in order to create spatial data from existing hardcopy maps and documents. In the present work, the geo-referenced raster images of Hyderabad city are digitized using ArcView GIS 3.1. This type of digitization is called on-line digitization. Road network of the study area is digitized as line features. Lakes and rivers are digitized as polygon features. Bus stations, railway stations, hospitals, places of tourist interest, offices, educational institutions and stadiums are digitized as point features. The above spatial data is organized in layers or themes in the current project.

   

2.7 Input Data

2.7.1 Description of Area
Twin cities Hyderabad and Secunderabad have been selected for present study. Hyderabad city, an administrative and commercial center and capital of Andhra Pradesh state is the fifth biggest city in India. The study area (Hyderabad-Secunderabad twin cities) is bounded by latitude 170-30′-00” N and 170-19′-48” N and longitude 780-22′-12″E and 780-34′-48″ E and area covered is about 500 square kilometers

2.7.2 Input Data Sources
Following data was collected and used in the development of package.

  1. Topographical map at scale 1:25000 numbered 56-K/ 7 / NE
  2. Topographical map at scale 1:25000 numbered 56-K/ 7 / SE
  3. Topographical map at scale 1:25000 numbered 56-K/ 7 / NW
  4. Topographical map at scale 1:25000 numbered 56-K/ 7 / SW
  5. Information of one-way road segments
  6. Speed limits on roads
  7. Road names
  8. City bus routes
  9. Time tables of inter city bus, train and air services
  10. Description of Themes and Data Base

All the necessary information for each feature is to be entered into its theme’s attribute table, to analyze it in later stage. This is done by adding required number of fields (columns) to the table and entering the data for all the features in their corresponding records (rows).

The different features of Hyderabad are taken as different themes or layers in the project according to their functionality. These are

  • Road Network
  • Places of tourist interest
  • Educational institutions
  • Hospitals and offices
  • Bus stations, railway stations and airport
  • Lakes and river

In the road network theme more than 1200 roads were identified and digitized. Roads in the city were categorized as highways, major roads and minor roads. This was done by giving a separate key number to each category in the database. Roads which are having names are identified and that data is stored in this database. More than one bus will travel on one road. Storing all bus numbers traveling on each road segment is very difficult; besides this it increases the size of database. All bus numbers in one road segment were stored in one field in a compressed format. Metro liners, metro express and ordinary are three different city bus services in Hyderabad city. Data base for these three categories are created and stored in three different fields. Data base for one-way, road segment length, speed limit and drive time was created.

   

Names of Places of tourist interest, educational institutions, hospitals, bus stations, railway stations, offices, lakes and river were stored in their corresponding data bases. Description and information of fields in data bases of different themes are given in table 1.

Table 1 Description of fields and themes

Theme Fields Description
Road
network
Name
One-way
Speed Limit
Length
Drive time
Category
Name of the road
Contains information of one-way road
Speed limit on that road segment
Length of the road
Drive time calculated based on speed limit and length
Category key number
Places of
tourist
interest
Name
Label
Name of the tourist place
Label of the tourist place
Transport Name

Label

Category

Name of the transport station (airport, bus and rail stations)
Label of the transport station (airport, bus and rail stations)
Category key number for local and main rail stations, bus stations and airport
Hospitals Name
Label
Category
Name of the hospital
Label of the hospital
Category key number for private and Govt. hospitals
Educational
institutions
Name
Label
Name of the Educational institutions
Label of the Educational institutions
Offices Name
Label
Name of the office
Label of the office

Besides theses databases for intercity bus services, train services and air services were created. Distances from Hyderabad, departure timings and service name were included in these data bases. These data bases were created in MS-Excel.

   

3. Applications of Package

3.1 Descriptions of Menus
On the menu bar there are five menus namely File, View Hyderabad, Path, City bus routes and Intercity. Descriptions of sub menus of these menus are given below.

Table 2 Descriptions of Menus

Menu name Sub menu Function
File Close Closes Hyderabad view
Print Prints Hyderabad view
Print setup Edits the printer and the printing options
Exit Exits from the package
View Hyderabad By location Displays location wise with details
Full Displays full view
Search Searches for different features in Hyderabad
Path Shortest path Gives shortest path
Closest facility Gives closest facility path
Site tour Gives optimum path for site tour
City bus routes Metro liners Gives bus route for metro liner city bus service
Metro express Gives bus route for metro express city bus service
Ordinary Gives bus route for ordinary city bus service
General Gives general information about city bus services
Intercity Bus services Gives intercity bus services from Hyderabad
Train services Gives intercity train services from Hyderabad
Air services Gives intercity air services from Hyderabad
General Gives general information about intercity services

   

3.2 Descriptions of Buttons and Tools
Buttons and tools are used to give easy access due to their frequent use in the package. The name and functionality of them are shown in a tool tip text when user moves cursor on them. The description of buttons and tools are given in tables 3 and 4.

Table 3 Descriptions of Buttons

Button name Function
Zoom to full extent Zooms to the extent of all themes
Zoom to active themes Zooms to the extent of active themes
Zoom in Zooms in on the center of the display
Zoom out Zooms out from the center of the display
Zoom to previous extent Goes back to the previous extent you were viewing
By location Has same functionality as by location sub menu
Search Has same functionality as search sub menu
Shortest path Has same functionality as shortest path sub menu
Closest facility Has same functionality as closest facility sub menu

Table 4 Description of Tools

Tool name Description
Select Selects any point on map
Zoom Zooms in at a point we click or zooms in on a rectangle we drag
Zoom Out Zooms out from a point you click or zooms out to include a rectangle you drag
Pan Drags the display in the direction we move the cursor
Measure Measures distance and displays it on status bar

   

3.3 Working with the Package

3.3.1 Using general functions


Fig 3 General View

This is full view of map with all themes in the digital Hyderabad package. Guide lines for general usage of the map are.

  • Legend of the map is shown in the left side of map.
  • On and off themes by clicking check box in front it to view desired themes.
  • Zoom in or zoom out the map using zoom tools and buttons.
  • Click on measure tool and click on any point on map and move the cursor to desired point on map. A line draws between those two points and distance in kilometers is shown in the status bar.

3.3.2 Viewing Hyderabad location wise


Fig 4 Viewing Hydearbad Locationwise

   

Through ‘By location’ sub menu in ‘View Hyderabad’ menu or location button one can view area wise information. Procedure is

  • Click on ‘location’ button or ‘By location’ sub menu
  • Select area to view Selected area will be zoomed with all details For full view of Hyderabad click on ‘Full’ sub menu in ‘View Hyderabad’ menu

3.3.3 Searching for features in Hyderabad


Fig 5 Searching for Features in Hydearabad

  • Click on button or ‘Search’ sub menu in ‘View Hyderabad’ menu
  • Select type of features from ‘search for’ list
  • Select the feature from list

The selected feature will be highlighted in yellow color in the map and if image is available it will be shown in search’s dialog.

   

3.3.4 Shortest path with given origin and destination

  • Click on ‘shortest path’ sub menu or on button
  • Select any ‘with given origin and destination’ option in the shortest path dialog
  • Select type of origin and from that list select origin
  • Select type of destination and from that list select destination
  • Click on button and select travel cost (line length or drive time) Shortest path will be displayed in yellow color on the map and directions from origin to destination will be displayed in ‘shortest path’ dialog.

3.3.5 Shortest path with user given origin and given destination

  • Click on ‘shortest path’ sub menu or button
  • Select any ‘with user given origin and given destination’ option in the shortest path dialog
  • Select origin by clicking any point on road network
  • Select type of destination and from that list select destination
  • Click ‘run’ button and select travel cost (line length or drive time) Shortest path will be displayed in yellow color on the map and directions from origin to destination will be displayed in ‘shortest path’ dialog.

3.3.6 Shortest path with given origin and user given destination

  • Click on ‘shortest path’ sub menu or button
  • Select any ‘with given origin and user given destination’ option in the shortest path dialog
  • Select type of origin and select origin from given list
  • Select destination point by clicking any point on road network
  • Click ‘run’ button and select travel cost (line length or drive time) Shortest path will be displayed in yellow color on the map and directions from origin to destination will be displayed in ‘shortest path’ dialog.

3.3.7 Shortest path with user given origin and user given destination

  • Click on ‘shortest path’ sub menu or button
  • Select any ‘with user given origin and destination’ option in the shortest path dialog
  • Select origin point by clicking any point on road network
  • Select destination point by clicking any point on road network
  • Click ‘run’ button and select travel cost (line length or drive time) Shortest path will be displayed in yellow color on the map and directions from origin to destination will be displayed in ‘shortest path’ dialog.
   

3.3.8 Closest facility path


Fig 6 Closest Facility Path

  • Click on ‘closest facility ‘ sub menu or button
  • Click on button given in dialog and select any point by clicking road network
  • Enter range in kilometers where closest facility is to be found. By default it is ‘0’.It means closest facility in whole map.
  • Select type of facility (hospitals, offices, transport etc.) Optimum path to closest facility from selected point will be displayed in yellow color on the map and directions from origin to destination will be displayed in ‘closest facility path’ dialog.

3.3.9 Site tour

  • Click on ‘site tour’ sub menu
  • Select places to visit from places of tourist interest list in order of visit by holding SHIFT key
  • Click ‘Go’ button Optimum path for site tour will be displayed in yellow color on the map and directions will be displayed in ‘site tour’ dialog.

3.3.10 City bus services


Fig 7 City Bus Services

  • Click on ‘Metro liner’ or ‘Metro Express’ or ‘Ordinary’ sub menus in Citybusroute menu according to type of city bus services
  • Select origin point from origin list
  • Select destination point from destination list
  • Select any bus number from available bus numbers to view its route Selected bus number’s route will be displayed in yellow color on the map.
   

3.3.11 Inter city bus services


Fig 8 Inter City Bus Services

  • Click on ‘Bus services’ sub menu in inter city menu
  • Enter destination city name
  • Click ‘Go’ button

Distance and timings of buses will be displayed on bus services dialog.

3.3.12 Inter city railway services

  • Click on ‘Train services’ sub menu in inter city menu
  • Enter destination city name
  • Click ‘Go’ button
  • Train numbers to destination city will be displayed
  • Select any train number

Train name, arrival and departure times and train’s starting station in Hyderabad-Secunderabad twin cities will be displayed on Railway services dialog. 3.3.13 Inter city airline services

  • Click on ‘Air services’ sub menu in inter city menu
  • Select destination city name from list Airlines name, flight number, stopping details, departure time and operating days of all flights will be displayed on bus services dialog.
   

4. Conclusions

  1. Digital traveler information system for Hyderabad city has been developed in geographic information system (GIS) using ArcView GIS software package and it was customized using Avenue programming language.
  2. This package is having point-and-click graphical user interface (GUI) and it is user friendly also.
  3. The developed package has the following capabilities
    • Finding shortest path based on distance and drive time
    • Finding closest facility and its path based on distance and drive time
    • City bus routes
    • Search engine – which searches different facilities in Hyderabad city
    • Provides intercity bus, train and airways information (timings, distance and service name)
    • Site tour planning

  4. The developed package can be used in the following areas to give information to the travelers
    • Bus stands
    • Railway stations
    • Airports
    • Tourist information centers
    • In personal computers

Acknowledgement
The financial support provided by All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) for the project on Intelligent Transport System is thankfully acknowledged.

References

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