MapMechanics’ wide-ranging transport web resource set helps cope with the games
Wide-ranging transport data set helps cope with the games
Although most organisations likely to be affected by travel and transport restrictions during this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games now know about the challenge they face, many have still not determined how best to cope with it.
That is the focus of 2012 data set from MapMechanics, one of Britain’s leaders in logistics planning, digital mapping and geographic information systems. The company has released a particularly wide-ranging new set of resources to help minimise any adverse impact on activities caused by travel constraints surrounding the event.
Not only can these products help transport planners to take account of road closures, banned turns, speed restrictions and other measures that will apply when the 109-mile Olympic Route Network (ORN) comes into force; they can also help companies more broadly when it comes to analysing the overall impact of the games.
Moreover, as MapMechanics points out, in some cases the user’s main challenge might be not how to avoid the area affected by the Olympics, which often seems to be what analysts assume, but actually to find the best way into the area. MapMechanics’ managing director Chris Greenwood comments: “Thousands of businesses and individuals will have to keep on functioning within the affected area, and will need services and deliveries during the games. We can help with this too.”
MapMechanics has developed a special 2012 edition of digital postcode and NAVTEQ street data with mapping and routing software, and offers supporting consultancy services. The products are designed to help users to calculate the possible impact on their business.
Users can plot the location of their own depots or their customers’ premises in relation to Olympic venues, classify customers according to how likely they are to be affected by the games, and calculate routes and drive-times. MapMechanics can also help identify locations where pedestrian footfall will be particularly high – and hence traffic speeds might be correspondingly slow – giving users a more granular picture of the impact than is provided by the structure of the Olympic Road Network alone.
The data can help users making deliveries or collections in the affected area to make informed judgements such as reallocating customers to more appropriate depots, or changing delivery days. “It might be that by normal standard such measures would appear to increase costs, yet during the games they can reduce them,” Chris Greenwood says.
MapMechanics is able to take this wide-ranging approach to the games because it supplies a variety of related products. They include TruckStops, one of the world’s leading routing and scheduling optimisation solutions for vehicles and people; GeoConcept, the easy-to-use mapping analysis system; and special processing techniques to enhance NAVTEQ street networks with more detailed information about lane restrictions, banned turns and restricted access for specific vehicle types.
By using these products together, users can take steps to minimise disruption to their operations during the event.
TruckStops, for instance, has the inherent ability to take account of access restrictions, whether local or covering a wider area. Rather than simply routing vehicles round the affected area, it can schedule them intelligently through it. It can process information on temporarily banned turns (there will be 160 of these), and can be set up to assume a percentage speed reduction over specific stretches of road. Users could for instance set up an “Olympic village speed” for their deliveries.
In a similar way, GeoConcept can use data such as customer locations, turning restrictions and road speeds to calculate travel times and find nearest locations to a given point.
Whether users want to incorporate the special 2012 edition street network in their own software, obtain a complete solution or ask MapMechanics to do the analysis for them, both existing and new MapMechanics customers can take advantage of these detailed planning resources.
Chris Greenwood sums up: “A fantastic amount of planning has gone into the traffic and transport measures that will be in effect during the games, and we feel businesses need an appropriate set of resources to process the information and make sure it is reflected in their own operations. That’s what our 2012 products and services are all about.”
Note for editors
The Olympic Games run from 27 July to 12 August 2012 and the Paralympic Games run from 29 August to 9 September, but traffic and travel restrictions may also apply a few days before and after these dates. The Olympic Road Network and Paralympic Road Network, which have been drawn up by Transport for London, cover the whole of central London, and will be subject to various temporary closures, traffic light changes, turning restrictions and other measures at different times during the two events.