Introducing CARTO Traffico: A Crowdsourced GPS Data Traffic Management Solution


CARTO Traffico is a traffic management solution for civic engineers and urban planners that integrates crowdsourced GPS data with city specific mobility data sources to help cities adapt to citizens’ changing transportation behavior

This post may describe functionality for an old version of CARTO. Find out about the latest and cloud-native version here.
Introducing CARTO Traffico: A Crowdsourced GPS Data Traffic Management Solution

Traffic congestion is one of the biggest problems facing today’s cities  posing a serious challenge for traffic managers and urban planners. Accelerated population growth means that thenumber of vehicles in cities is growing exponentially  and to fix a problem as complex as traffic congestion  municipal leaders need innovative solutions that understand today’s connectedcommuter.

Today we’re introducing our latest Location Intelligence solution that equips cities and local governments with a simple solutionto address their urban mobility challenges with crowdsourced data: CARTO Traffico.

CARTO Traffico makes it easy for cities to integrate crowdsourced GPS data from Waze  open data sources  and more traditional traffic data streams to gain real-time mobility insights. Theapp also allows traffic managers to analyze real-time and historical city data made available through the Waze Connected Citizens Program. CARTO has joined theWaze Connected Citizens Program  a partnership resulting in a data exchange empowering local leaders to confront traffic-related issues with with real-time  anonymous location data providedfrom drivers themselves.

Until now  it has been tough for cities to find intuitive ways to bring together real-time crowdsourced data with existing data streams from different city departments in one singleinterface. However  with Traffico  city operations managers and urban planners can share a single resource to find insights that allow them to:

  • Identify city locations with high volumes of short trips and/or circuitous routes as areas where new infrastructure projects could reduce congestion if public transportation were moreaccessible or if more direct routes were available
  • Determine when repair and maintenance work for transportation systems will cause the least disruption by running origin-destination analyses with GPS data and sensor data
  • Provide transparency to their citizens about where and how infrastructure investments are reducing traffic congestion in their cities

Let’s take a closer look at CARTO Traffico’s participation in the Waze Connected Citizens Program  how the solution works with new data streams  what services this new Location Intelligencesolution provides city and municipal leaders  and finally why Traffico is redefining what it means to be data-driven in the city of Madrid!

CARTO Traffico and The Waze Connected Citizens Program

Personal navigation apps have come under fire for displacing rather than solving traffic congestion. Drivers looking to avoid delays have detoured through residential areas not intended tohandle high traffic volumes. Unfortunately  this commuter-centric approach to traffic management has caused unintended problems such as delayed incident response times to residential areasbecause of unexpected traffic congestion.

It is true that navigation apps have led to a behavioral change in citizen transportation  but it is also true that traffic managers and urban planners can glean unrivalled insight into mobility patterns by working with the location data generated by these apps to better understand and prepare for the impact that these behavioral changes can have on their city

The Waze Connected Citizens Program (CCP)  launched in 2014  adopts a community-centric rather than a commuter-centric approach to addressing today’s mobility problems. The two stated goalsof the program are:

  1. To get Waze-reported incident data into the hands of government officials that can address the reported incident  whether it’s a five car pile-up or a pothole
  2. To give Waze drivers the best real-time  location-based information on what’s happening on the roads

Today  the CCP has over 600 partners whose work has improved living conditions formore than one billion people in cities around the world. When we came across the CCP we saw a unique opportunity to partner with an organization with the same ambitious goals to use mobilitylocation data to improve cities across the globe.

How CARTO Traffico works

Traffico’s open-source technology enables a two-way data exchange that integrates data from city-specific APIs with crowdsourced GPS data from the Waze API to present both a real-time andhistorical view of mobility patterns. This allows Traffico to give new levels of interactivity and higher granularity than other more traditional traffic management solutions.


Using Traffico’s real-time view  local officials are alerted to reports from drivers on traffic jams  accidents  warnings about possible hazards  construction work  road closures  and othercity events. The street-level view extracted from anonymous GPS data is then aggregated  analyzed  and visualized by administrative boundaries to measure citywide traffic impact levels road service levels  and various travel alerts.

Using Traffico’s historical view  local officials can better understand behavioral changes in transportation in past seasons or during specific events.  The solution can be set to analyze aspecific period of study  calculating the average rush hour duration  start time and end time  a ranking of the worst dates within a time period  and even the worst day and time of the weekfor commuting can be determined. These KPIs can be customized to align with the goals of an individual city’s congestion strategy  allowing each city to track the success of measures takento reduce citywide disruptions caused by scheduled maintenance to public transit systems orinfrastructure.

The City of Madrid takes CARTO Traffico for a test drive

The United Nations predicts that nearly 65 percent of the world’s population will reside in cities by 2050  and this urban migration is likely to cause the amount of motor vehicles on theroad to surpass 2 billion cars and increase air pollution by 8 percent. In cities like Madrid  however  these effects are already being felt today.

In December 2016  for instance  the City of Madridbecame a trailblazer  issuing what would become the first of many traffic bans that forced half of the city’s 1.8 million vehicles from the roads after air quality sensors reporteddangerous levels of air pollutants produced by daily commuting. This innovative approach to reducing both traffic congestion and health risks caused from prolonged exposure to air pollutionhas been matched with the City of Madrid’s innovative approach to analyzing traffic data as well.

That is why the City of Madrid will be the first city in Europe to use Traffico to drive decisions on when  where  and for how long to restrict the flow of traffic in and around thenation’s capital.

We couldn’t be more excited to in Madrid  our company’s original hometown  take Traffico on its maiden voyage  and in the process show how Location Intelligence solutions enable a moreinnovative approach to mobility planning.



       CARTO Traffico        

Learn more about how Location Intelligence can works with new data streams to reduce traffic congestion and optimize the performance of citywide services today!

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