From Surveyor's Grind to Traffic Wizardry: The Power of Data Analysis

You know this feeling when you wake up in the morning, motivated, energized, and pumped up for another day at work?

We truly hope you do, because being a traffic surveyor at times can feel incredibly rewarding. After all, you get to participate in creating efficient transportation networks, effectively improving the quality of everyday life for thousands of people. That’s a real impact that not everyone can rejoice in their work.

Unfortunately, oftentimes, the opposite is the truth. Based on our experience working with traffic surveyors from all around the world, most of them name three aggravations that may cause annoyance and accumulate resentment towards their work:

  • Time wasted on aggregating data from different sources.
  • Insufficient accuracy of counts.
  • Inconvenient data sharing with clients.

Luckily, modern traffic data collection technologies can relieve traffic surveyors from these annoyances, allowing them to redirect time and effort to the tasks that make a real difference. What are these solutions, and how can they help traffic surveyors address their everyday issues? How to conduct a traffic survey more effectively? Let’s find out.



Boost count accuracy with AI-based video traffic data collection

In traffic surveying, data is everything. Traffic records provide engineers and urban planners with insights into the current and historical traffic situation, informing infrastructure investments and traffic interventions. Unfortunately, traditional traffic data collection methods tend to fall short of the accuracy of the delivered traffic records.

In-person traffic counts

First, let’s consider the most conventional method: in-person traffic counts. Traffic surveyors can only spend so long stationed at intersections, which drives fragmentary results. Humans are also prone to distractions and simple mistakes that can skew the final count. It’s hardly their fault—at the end of the day, they’re only humans.

Road tubes and sensors

Mechanised methods, like road tubes and other traffic sensors, are more effective than manual counts but aren’t free from flaws when data accuracy is concerned. Due to installation and maintenance costs, road sensors are often placed only temporarily, limiting the scope of the count. For the same reason, surveyors and municipalities prefer to station sensors on high-impact, busy road sections. As a result, low-traffic and suburban roads are neglected, which affects the outcome from the city or region-wide perspective.

Video solutions

Video-based solutions offer an affordable, scalable, and, most importantly, reliable alternative to conventional traffic data collection methods. Platforms like GoodVision Video Insights rely on footage captured by roadside cameras, which gives traffic surveyors several advantages. 

Traffic records can be captured around the clock, providing a much larger sample for later analysis, which results in more accurate results. Historical recordings can also be reused for an even broader scope.

Video Insights can use recordings collected by cameras already installed for other purposes (e.g., CCTV or security monitoring), so, unlike sensors, the platform most often doesn’t require extra installation costs. Additional cameras can be deployed relatively cheaply in any location and don’t need to be maintained as often as tube sensors. This allows traffic data collection from more scenes and building broader, more accurate datasets.

To extract traffic data from the provided footage, GoodVision uses its proprietary AI algorithm to detect movements and identify vehicles with up to 95% accuracy. By automating the data extraction process, Video Insights can analyse recordings in hours regardless of file size, expediting survey delivery. Unlike conventional methods, the cost doesn’t change, regardless of traffic density or complexity. All that is needed is a camera providing a good scene view.

Compiling records made easy with centralised traffic data management

Depending on the scope of the traffic survey, the outcome may combine data from multiple sources recorded in incompatible formats that need to be compiled into a coherent file before it can be shared with your clients. Aggregating traffic records manually takes tons of time—time that could be spent on putting your skills to use better. Worse, some datasets can get lost, leading to inconsistent survey results.

Traffic surveyors face a couple of challenges when managing and compiling data.

  • Inconsistent formats — Different survey techniques produce results in different formats, like spreadsheets, sensor and counter readings, or even paper notes. 
  • Incomplete data — Missing records are easy to overlook during the aggregation process but have a visible, negative impact on the dataset downstream.
  • Siloed datasets — Keeping survey records across separate disconnected systems or storage spaces will quickly lead to fragmented datasets and inaccurate outputs.
  • Manual data processes — Most traffic data operations—storing, transferring, converting, compiling—are still handled manually, causing inefficiencies and human mistakes.
  • Duplicate records — A single duplicated dataset can skew the outcome of the entire survey. Additionally, redundant datasets make managing records more difficult.

Our answer to all these data hurdles is simple: unification.

GoodVision Video Insights automatically stores all data extracted from the uploaded video recordings on a single platform. This eliminates the need for inefficient and error-prone operations like data transferring or compiling. All records are kept in a unified format, so you’ll no longer have to copy-paste records between spreadsheets or convert file formats. If required, you can export any traffic report in a spreadsheet format.



With GoodVision, all essential traffic reports are available in one place

To keep both your data and recordings within a single ecosystem, our traffic analytics platform is fully integrated with our own traffic video storage space, GoodVision Vault. It allows you to save your footage for playback, sharing, downloading, or future use. Another benefit is traffic data protection—GoodVision Vault stores records in secure AWS data centres in the user’s region. Or, if you prefer, you can integrate the Video Insights platform with popular third-party data storage services like Google Drive or Dropbox.


Seamless data sharing without emails

With your traffic survey ready, it’s time to share it with your clients. But that’s not always as simple as pressing the send button.

In traffic surveying, the go-to traffic report format is spreadsheets. It’s easy to understand why: they’re customisable, easy to read, and everyone knows how to use them. 

Unfortunately, spreadsheet traffic reports aren’t that convenient for sharing. The primary way to distribute them is by using another well-established tool: email. This works in the short run, but as the project progresses, inboxes get clogged, conversations become excruciatingly long, and specific messages and files are increasingly difficult to retrieve. 

Another challenge is version tracking. Over time, new users will inevitably create their own copies of the spreadsheet, which creates confusion and plunges collaboration into further chaos.

Some spreadsheet tools have built-in features to prevent that, such as editing or access control settings, but they require intense micromanagement to serve their purpose.

As with the data aggregation challenges, the best solution is simplicity. 

Since all reports are available on the GoodVision platform, sharing them with your clients is as easy as inviting them to the project. Once there, they can analyse the extracted data, view reports, filter datasets by time, movements, or vehicle type, and more. Videos and trajectories provide additional visual context for the raw data that spreadsheets lack. 

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GoodVision lets you easily share the traffic surveying project with users outside your organisation.

Only users authorised by you will have access to the project, and you can modify and assign roles at any time. And, if your clients also use GoodVision, you can transfer the ownership of the entire project to them to give them ultimate control.

All authorised users can also export traffic reports in the form of spreadsheets. However, one significant advantage GoodVision has over other tools is that these reports can be generated for specific settings at any time, meaning that all users always have easy access to the original datasets. This way, the Video Insights platform becomes a single source of truth for traffic surveyors and their clients.

GoodVision — your new solution to survey struggles

Many traffic surveyors chose this career path to impact the shape of cities and communities. However, these efforts are hampered by seemingly inescapable nuisances and inefficiencies.

GoodVision is here to put satisfaction back into the job of traffic surveyors. Reach out to us to win back your time while improving your clients' outcomes through video traffic data collection and analytics.

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