Lehman Center for Transportation Research at Florida International University

Development of a Florida Modeling Portal

  • Sponsor: Florida Department of Transportation
  • Contact: Dr. Albert Gan, (305) 348-3116, gana@fiu.edu

  • “Data, data everywhere, not a byte ready for use.” The accessibility of data has continued to be a major challenge facing our demand modelers today. In fact, it is not unusual for data preparation to take up over 70% of the total modeling effort. There are three major obstacles that make the current data preparation process for FSUTMS a tedious and often frustrating task.

    First, the search for available data is often difficult especially for the less experienced modelers who are not as familiar with the available data.

    Second, data are not available in the format needed and there is a lack of GIS capabilities to convert the data into the format needed for FSUTMS.

    Third, data are located at different locations maintained by different agencies and are often difficult to get a hold of. Clearly, the solution to overcoming each of these obstacles is to create a statewide central database system that integrates data from various sources and provides the necessary tools to generate model input in the required formats.

    In addition to issues related to data accessibility, there is also not an effective means to share modeling data sets, model outputs, reports, presentations, announcements, newsletters, etc. among the transportation modelers in Florida, making it hard for information dissemination and data sharing.

    The goal of this scope is to develop an information portal to meet the data and information needs of FSUTMS users. The specific objectives to be accomplished to achieve this goal include:
    1. Identify existing data sources and attributes for incorporation into the information system.
    2. Integrate data from various sources of different types into a central database repository that can be easily accessed by even the novice users.
    3. Develop user-friendly spatial and non-spatial functions for visualizing data, preparing FSUTMS input data, and uploading and downloading data files.