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Where does Google Maps get traffic data and how good is it?

Discussion in 'Android General Discussions' started by investroll, Dec 25, 2009.

  1. investroll
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    investroll New Member

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    One of the cool features of the Droid is that the Maps application has traffic data. (You need to go to the layers and add the traffic layer). Unfortunately, it obscures the street names so it is a bit awkward.

    Where does the traffic data come from, and how often is it updated? Do I need to refresh the screen to get it updated?

    Do they gather GPS speed data from all the Droid users and use that to come up with real time traffic (like the late Dash Express, which was a cool idea that died). Or do they rely on state highway departments for data? Or do they get it from somewhere else?
  2. Backnblack
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    Backnblack Premium Member Premium Member

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    I believe they get thier data from the SHA of what ever state you are viewing. You should not have to refresh for the data to update
  3. Jeremy556
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    Jeremy556 New Member

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    They get it mostly from Google Maps users with mobile devices - Android, iPhone, etc
  4. Backnblack
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    Backnblack Premium Member Premium Member

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  5. investroll
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    investroll New Member

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  6. dezymond
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    dezymond RS Lead Premium Member

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    Didn't know that either. I'm glad my raising blood pressure in traffic can help others avoid it! at least when i use my Droid
  7. KingDroid
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    KingDroid New Member

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    The traffic info is great and it's pretty spot on! I will travel and it will show me that in a few miles it's heavy traffic and I think "yeah, ok. That's why I'm doing 80 right now". And sure enough exactly where it says the traffic is heavy, it's heavy. Definitely the best GPS I have ever used!
  8. Laurence5905
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    Laurence5905 New Member

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    Is it just me, or did that scare the hell out of anyone else? If Google is doing that -- and ADMITTING to doing that -- just imagine what they might be doing behind the scenes. Worse yet -- imagine what the Government is doing! If a private company like Google has this kind of technology available, just imagine what the Government has on us! Boggles the mind...

    At least cell-phones still have off-switches... Not that they're *completely* off when you turn 'em off... But hey -- pull out the battery and then it's definitely 100% off. (Sorry iPhone users -- y'all are S.O.L. on that one. Your battery is not removeable.)
  9. Martin030908
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    Martin030908 Super Moderator

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    Our heads would pop if we knew HALF of what was REALLY going on. :icon_eek:
  10. Backnblack
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    Backnblack Premium Member Premium Member

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    Here we go again....
  11. JessiesGirl
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    JessiesGirl New Member

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    I remember the world freaking out about EZPass and similar electronic toll devices, thinking they would be getting speeding tickets in the mail. People got over it.
  12. raven1911
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    raven1911 New Member

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    I am not sure I like the way google is doing this. Why not just tap into the local highway patrol traffic or something. I think it would be more reliable. I travel all over southern california and it has missed a lot of traffic. No offense to anyone here but I don't want to have to rely on other users for that kind of information. Seems inaccurate for myself so far and disappointed with the traffic layer so far. Love maps though.
  13. Backnblack
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    Backnblack Premium Member Premium Member

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    You have the option Not to use the traffic layer...
  14. takeshi
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    takeshi New Member

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    Probably not just you -- there are many with tinfoil hats out there.

    IMO there's certainly reason to be skeptical but if you're scared of this kind of thing then you really shouldn't use any of Google's products. Remember what their core business is. They're not an applications charity like many seem to think. There may not be a price tag but there's certainly a cost. Their core business is in analyzing data and using data. Crowdsourcing is an obvious extension of what they do. I expect to see more crowdsourcing in the future -- it's definitely motivation for Google to get Android and apps out to as many people as possible.

    It has been pretty accurate in my experience. You'd think Southern CA would have many more Google users out there. Accuracy just depends on the number and frequency of available data points. Your alternative works in areas where there are traffic monitoring systems but the majority of the US doesn't have such systems on their roads or highways. Google's approach allows them to obtain traffic data for any road.

    If you want to use an already-available traffic monitoring system there's nothing preventing you from doing so instead of using Google Maps. They're not mutually exclusive. I also use Houston TranStar Real-Time Traffic Map all the time.
  15. DarrellM5
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    DarrellM5 New Member

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    I found it to be very accurate in Las Vegas. I just wish I that I had been using it before I wound up in an hour long traffic jam due to an accident. I'm glad my inconvenience helped some others avoid it though.
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