Identifying Spatio-Temporal Patterns of Traffic Congestion Using Data Obtained from Google Maps Service Traffic Image

Document Type : علمی - پژوهشی


1 Assistant Prof., Dep. of Geoscience Engineering, Arak University of Technology, Arak

2 Prof. of School of Civil Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran


Analyzing traffic conditions and suggesting traffic management methods play a critical role in evaluating the effectiveness of transportation systems. Among the methods suggested for collecting traffic data, approaches based on new technologies attracted more attention due to the ability of collecting large amounts of dynamic spatio-temporal data making it easy to identify trends and patterns. In this study, Tehran, the capital of Iran with socio-economic characteristics and the variety of urban trips which lead to heterogeneous traffic state will be considered. Data obtained from digital processing of Google Maps traffic images the one-month time interval (April 7th to May 7th, 2017), has been applied for the first time to evaluate the trend and overall pattern of the changes in traffic congestion in the study area. Considering the variety of trip patterns and consequently the traffic congestion, traffic congestion index (CI) has been calculated on workdays and weekends separately and was assigned to the district center and the morning and evening peak-hours were extracted using descriptive analysis. By applying Getis-Ord hot-spot and cold-spot index, the clusters of congested areas have been recognized over the study area. Also, the temporal relationship between traffic congestion indexes in different time sections was evaluated using Kruskal-Wallis statistical test and the null hypothesis of correlation between the mean values of congestion index was confirmed. Using overlay analysis of congestion maps, clusters indicating congested areas at 90% confidence intervals were extracted during morning and evening peaks on weekdays and weekends separately. The results of this study can be effective in modifying traffic congestion zones, analyzing pollution or studies relating to road pricing, and assessing the process of traffic congestion propagation during desired time intervals.


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