Skip to main content

Interactive Web Application for Traffic Simulation Data Management and Visualization...

by Haowen Xu, Chieh Wang, Anne S Berres, Timothy J Laclair, Jibonananda Sanyal
Publication Type
Journal Name
Transportation Research Record
Publication Date
Page Number

As traffic simulation software becomes more effective for realistically simulating and analyzing traffic dynamics and vehicle interactions on the mesoscopic and microscopic level, the management, dissemination, and collaborative visualization of traffic simulation results produced by individual transportation planners presents a significant challenge. Existing online content management systems have a very limited capability in allowing users to query specific traffic simulation scenarios and geospatially visualize simulation results through shareable and interactive web interfaces. This paper presents a web-based application for promoting the archiving, sharing, and visualization of large-scale traffic simulation outputs. The application is developed to enhance cyber-physical controls, communications, and public education for collaborative transportation planning. Unique features of the web application include: (a) allowing users to upload their new traffic simulation scenarios (parameters and outputs), as well as search existing scenarios using easily accessible interfaces; (b) optimizing simulation output files with heterogeneous data formats and projected coordinate systems for web-based storage and management using a scalable and searchable data/metadata standard; (c) standardizing user-uploaded simulation outputs using web interfaces and data processing libraries with parallel computing capacity; and (d) providing shareable web visual interfaces for visualizing the traffic flow and signal information stored in simulation outputs (e.g., regional traffic patterns and individual vehicle interactions) and visually comparing multiple simulation outputs both spatially and temporally. The paper presents the conceptual design and implementation of this application, and demonstrates the application’s performance for sharing, comparing, and visualizing simulation outputs from VISSIM and SUMO, two commonly used traffic simulation software programs.