There is nothing more frustrating than being stuck in a traffic. If you are fortunate to have a GPS with Live Traffic than you are automatically routed around any problem areas. However, what happens if you don’t have one of those GPS or if its in your other car ?
Well, Google comes to the rescue with Traffic info super imposed on your map. Whilst this isn’t new, it is new in South Africa. This service is only available in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town and only on main roads as the system used crowd-sourcing to get their traffic information ie. it gets its info from people who travel the roads and feed info back to Google. As more and more people will use Google Maps on their mobile phone, more information will be sent to Google and build up profiles and live traffic on side roads too.
[Note: a couple of years ago I wrote crowd sourcing application called SwiftGO which works on the same principle but for Blackberry maps]
All you do it log onto the maps.google.co.za and enter an address as you normally do. If you now click on the the word TRAFFIC on the right of the map, you will see all the traffic patterns and congestion spots:
where traffic is at a standstill, you will see those spots in RED –so avoid those areas. Simple.
I use this system to get diretions from point A to B. This is not new, however what is new is that if you look carefully at the bottom it now will tell you that “in current traffic 35mins” – this is useful when trying to manage time.
The golden secret: if you click on the word CHANGE (on the traffic key) it will allow you to see traffic patterns that are typical for another day and time. This is really helpful in taking out the guesswork of how long it will take to get to your destination at a specific time and day.
I know what you are thinking, “this is all good and well when back in the office, however when I am on the road, how does this help me ?”
If you have an Android phone, you simply open up Maps, add the Traffic Layer:
Go give it a bash and see how it will really manage your time whilst on the road: maps.google.co.za