Shalom Life | August 05, 2014

Tweet if You're Stuck in Traffic

Israeli researchers suggest transport officials gather and analyze Twitter posts to better plan traffic and transit strategy after a major event

By: Abigail Klein Leichman

Published: September 25th, 2013 in Business » Israel

Tweet if You're Stuck in Traffic

You already know about Waze, the wildly successful Israeli app that uses crowd-sourced info to guide you where you need to go in the best possible manner.

Now, researchers from two Israeli universities are part of an international team that put three years of analysis into developing a method that relies on Twitter tweets to collect information regarding transportation problems.

"The ability of social networks to produce information on heavy traffic, road hazards, availability of public transportation, and more, is a valuable tool for decision makers," said Tsvi Kuflik, head of the information systems department at the University of Haifa and one of the authors of this study.

Twitter is the second most popular social network (next to Facebook), allowing users to post, or “tweet,” messages no longer than 140 characters. Approximately 1 billion tweets go online every week. The volume of messages, and their brevity, makes them ideal for extracting information easily.

Along with fellow researchers from Britain and Italy, the Israelis suggest transportation planners should be ready to analyze tweets posted after mass events, like sports matches, as a novel and accurate way to gather and disseminate data on transportation snafus including heavy traffic, "bottlenecks," safety hazards and the availability of public buses and trains.

Their study was published the first week of September in the journal Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, and was presented at the 16th Euro Working Group on Transportation in Portugal.

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Via ISRAEL21c

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