The AE Hackathon gives customers and prospects 36 hours to come up with an innovative idea and a minimum viable product. The fifth edition of the Hackathon took place in June 2018. In this series, you will meet all the participants.
Explore a traffic simulation model
MINT is an independent consultancy for traffic and mobility. They set their knowledge in motion, literally. Using their expertise, they try to bridge the gap between current traffic situations, mobility problems and new insights gained from traffic analyses and mobility studies. MINT converts these analyses into substantiated traffic simulation models. Thanks to these models, it is possible to calculate a range of performance indicators for both current traffic situations and future scenarios. During the Hackathon, the team looked for a way to communicate the results of their models to customers in a user-friendly way.
From shapefiles to user-friendly reporting
Team MINT's challenge was to make their conventional reportingmore efficient and manageable for customers. Traditionally, the consultancy collates its findings in reports containing various figures and tables. Not only are these time-consuming to draw up, but a large part of the important insights are also lost in such a snapshot of the situation. Currently, the only other alternative is shapefiles, a widely-used exchange format for geographical information, which contains all data. But since customers generally do not have the prior knowledge and experience to get started with this software, Team MINT looked for a user-friendly solution during the Hackathon.
The result from the Hackathon?
Specifically, Team MINT started working with software package and programming language R to perform data manipulations. To visualise the effects and findings of the traffic simulation models, an additional layer was added to the data using Shiny. Despite the challenging time management and extensive data preparation, the team developed a demo version of the tool in 36 hours with a fictional scenario in which a new motorway was built between Aarschot and Haasrode, with a separate slip road leading right up to the car park of AE.
The tool makes it possible for users to view a queried traffic model directly in a browser environment. They can instantly query the results for a specific area on a map, and start working with them. Zooming in, scrolling, clicking on roads and displaying other attributes, ... these are all part of the features. In this way, the highlights are visually emphasised and the impact of a traffic intervention is presented clearly and transparently, especially compared with the screenshots which the consultancy used for this purpose before.