A prompt for a discussion of if/how we could make allowance for the Olympics in Waze. This is London-centric though similar problems might well exist elsewhere and need to be factored into any discussion. I hope I have identified the major problems but this is only to prompt discussion and I am quite prepared for others to disagree with anything here.
Problem 1 - there are new permanent roads and layouts
for some of the Olympic sites
Problem 2 - for several weeks there will be temporary changes in road layouts
, there may also be day to day changes for races etc
Problem 3 - there will be significant traffic disruption in some areas
, partly due to problem 2, hopefully nothing extra needs to be done for this though were the temporary changes to be made Waze could provide a much better service
The Olympics will be an excellent opportunity to show how Waze can provide up to date traffic information and also quickly take account of road changes as necessary. However there are costs and risks involved. Publicly announcing that Waze will provide full changes for the Olympics may expose it to criticism were it to fail; on the other hand not taking account of the changes could also be criticised and would miss the PR opportunity. However, given that the temporary road closures are only for a few weeks, perhaps it would be better to concentrate on problem 1 and assisting if necessary for problem 3. Waze could then take the flak for not having all the temporary changes. I am not aware of what other providers are doing.
Basic background on the Olympicshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Olympics
of which the timing is most important:
The 2012 Summer Olympics (the Games of the XXX Olympiad) are planned to take place between 27 July 2012 and 12 August 2012.
The 2012 Summer Paralympic Games will be the fourteenth Paralympics and will take place between 29 August 2012 and 9 September 2012 at the Summer Olympics venues in London.
Background reading on the road changes is at:http://www.london2012.com/olympic-route ... -work.html
Measures may include:
– changes to traffic signal timings;
– restricted turns;
– side road closures to general traffic (except local residents and businesses where possible);
– suspension of parking and waiting bays;
– suspension of some pedestrian crossings;
There have been a few reports on the impact on the transport network, see the overview at:http://www.tfl.gov.uk/gettingaround/lon ... 21819.aspx
Around 70 per cent of the road network in Greater London will be unaffected. However, some locations will be severely affected at some times. The location and time of severely affected areas will change throughout the Games.
and the much larger report by the Traffic Commissioner (PDF):http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/ ... tspots.pdf
However, the Mayor has been quoted as pouring cold water on some of the worst predictions.
Problem 1 - this is a no brainer, Waze should have the permanent roads in its database in any case. In order for the best service, these roads need to be fully validated well before next Summer. How do we best ensure the roads are correct?
Problem 2 - taking account of the temporary changes to the road network would provide a far higher quality service during a potentially chaotic time on the roads. However, this would entail all the temporary measures being taken into account and switched on and off quickly. The quick turnaround of changes would need Waze HQ input to ensure prompt tile generation. There would also be a risk that the changes didn't get unmade after the Olympics due to server crashes, etc. Editors would need to be on stand-by for quick changes to routes etc either due to misunderstandings in the original specification, changes made by the authorities in the light of experience, or day to day changes such as marathon, bicycle race routes.
Problem 3 - I'm not sure what if anything is necessary to accommodate the different traffic patterns. Should Waze HQ reset some road data on the major problem routes?