Rick Overvoorde is a Traffic Engineer who joined MAPtm two years ago and has been active in the smart mobility and C-ITS field ever since, as in other topics such as intelligent traffic lights and other traffic management innovations. nuMIDAS is his first EU funded project, but certainly not his last.
1. Can you tell us about MAPTM and your role in the project?
MAPtm operates in the mobility management domain as an independent partner for and between road authorities, governments, and private organisations like construction companies and mobility service providers. Besides, MAPtm visualises analytic results generated by multiple public and private data sources as well as specific stakeholders’ goals and needs through i.e. dashboarding. These exact roles are fulfilled within the nuMIDAS consortium as well. However, instead of only presenting analytic results, MAPtm has developed an interactive dashboard that is able to request algorithmic computations and present results in order to assist policy makers with their decision and policy making. MAPtm also assists in the development and implementations of the nuMIDAS use cases. Furthermore, MAPtm is looking ahead in time, together with the consortium, to see what nuMIDAS can be after the project ends. Project results are expected to be impactful, so combining forces with the consortium to spread the knowledge and tools over more cities within Europe is an interesting, but challenging step. Many opportunities for new mobility are identified within the nuMIDAS project, so there still is much work to do!
2. Can you share with us a little bit of the process through which dashboards are developed for local governments?
MAPtm has developed multiple dashboards for several governments with a varying focus. Some are more for operational use; others focus on retrospective analysis for more tactical purposes. But all of the dashboards are custom designed. Together with the client we figure out the actual needs and requirements in an agile process. Step by step we determine which questions need to be answered and which insights are needed before we build the corresponding functionality. Even during the building process of the functionality, we keep close contact with the client to make sure we come to a product that fits their needs. In this way, we strengthen the collaboration with the client and achieve a joint responsibility for the final dashboard.
Since all our products are custom by design, we have no turnkey products. But increasingly we handle a modular approach. By building functionalities in different modules, it becomes easier to reuse parts of an earlier developed dashboard and integrate it in a new one for another client.
3. What difficulties do you encounter in your everyday work with regard to the use of mobility data and development of dashboards?
Some difficulties considering working with mobility data have to do with the availability of the data. On one hand there is the problem of incomplete data. Due to several possible (technical) problems during the collection process the occurrence of incomplete data items is not an exception. On the other hand, there are many different data sources available, which generally need to be combined. Most of these sources are visually easily combined, for instance when projected on a map. However, the different data sources do not always have common ground (e.g. comparing traffic and public transport flows).