Monday, July 28, 2008

Transit Takes Virtual Video Road Trip in New Zealand

Transit takes virtual road trip
The Dominion Post | Monday, 28 July 2008

A software application developed as a prototype for Transit New Zealand could let tourists and new or nervous drivers click on online maps to view videos of the journeys they intended to make.

The searchable videos would allow drivers using the software to get a feeling for tricky junctions and accident hotspots before they set out on their journeys.

The Government agency teamed up with developer E-spatial and the Microsoft Innovation Centre to produce the application, which combines maps generated by Microsoft Virtual Earth with video footage of New Zealand's 11,000 kilometres of state highways, captured each year by Transit using GPS-equipped vehicles.

Transit keeps the video to check on the condition of roads, but providing the footage to the public through online interactive access could have a range of positive spin- offs, says spatial data manager Manu King.

The maps and video can be overlaid with extra information, such as road traffic counts and accident statistics, and could help insurers and experts investigate crashes.

The prototype was funded by Microsoft and was put together using software that has only recently been released or is still being tested, such as Flash-rival Silverlight and SQL Server 2008.