Wednesday, June 29, 2011

MMDA + Interaksyon 5 = Metro Manila Traffic Navigator

(UPDATE: Read my newer post, featuring the Traffic Navigator during its public launch, by clicking HERE.)

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has been getting a lot of praise as one of the government agencies that has been in the social media forefront, rendering public service via Twitter and Facebook. Now, they've levelled up once more! Partnering with Interaksyon (TV5), they have created a web-based, real-time Metro Manila Traffic Navigator.

When you go to the homepage, you are presented with the System View. At first glance, it reminds me of a subway map but it covers the major thoroughfares where the MMDA cameras (I presume) are located.

Using the red, green, yellow colors to signify heavy, moderate and light traffic, you can see at a glance where traffic is bad and where it is okay.

To get greater detail, you can also choose the Line View. In this view you can select any of several lines: EDSA, Quezon Ave., Espana, C5, Roxas Blvd, or SLEX. In this screencap, I had chosen EDSA and was presented with several streets intersecting with EDSA and their color-coded traffic status.

And when you click the Google Map icon on the extreme right of each street, this is what you see (in this case, I chose Quezon Ave.):

The website is interactive. At almost any page view, you have the chance to share the info via Facebook and Twitter as well as chat interactively with MMDA. You don't need to open Twitter or Facebook as a separate window or tab anymore. 

I was told that updates to the website are done every 15 to 30 minutes. That's not bad at all!

At the height of Tropical Storm Falcon, I was out of the house attending a despedida. Following the tweets of MMDA then helped me plan my route home. But this is one-up over the MMDA tweets. Why? Because if you want to check the status of EDSA-Shaw Boulevard, like I wanted to, it took a while to scroll through all the MMDA tweets to find one that reported on EDSA-Shaw. But with a visual map like this one, you can immediately check the EDSA line view and see the status of Shaw Blvd. there.

In the works also is the mobile app version of this so that it is easier for those with mobile phones to use the application.

The website is still in beta (as it says in the logo) and I think that's because some links are not yet working. For example, I clicked on their About, FAQ and Contact Us links and was directed to the System View page. Looks like those links are still under construction.

Try it out now and see for yourselves. If you love MMDA already, you'll love them even more after this. And thanks to Interaksyon TV5 for making this possible.

To go to Metro Manila Traffic Navigator, click HERE.

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