USC Database Project Deals With Traffic and Roadblocks in L.A.; Helps Drivers Find Alternate Routes


LA traffic no more! Computer science and journalism students have created USC Database Project to help LA commuter avoid traffic. This is an effort to help curb the excessive traffic that's been plaguing the major roads of Los Angeles.

The most comprehensive traffic database in Los Angeles is now available for drivers and commuters alike, thanks to the collaboration of University of Southern California's Viterbi School of Engineering's Integrated Media Systems Center (IMSC) and Annenberg School of Journalism, USC News reported. The project, which has been dabbed as Crosstown Traffic, will provide updates about LA congestion, available public transports, and even road accidents.

Crosstown Traffic was designed to be user friendly so that journalists, policymakers, drivers, and commuters can easily access traffic updates. The project specifically shows accident-prone highways, hazardous travel time, worst interchanges, and least on time city bus. It also reveals the slowest morning and evening commutes, LA West Media reported.

The data is taken from 17,000 street sensors all over LA County as well as from the transmitters installed on 2,000 LA buses. Overall there are 11 terabytes worth of data that Demiryurek's students integrate, clean, sort and analyze. These computer science students then collaborate with the journalism students to analyze trends, patterns, or anomalies from over 10 million residents going on and about in LA.

This is the first of its kind and is a product of a grant from Annenberg Foundation. The project's inception was in 2011 when Ugur Demiryurek, IMSC's Associate Director wanted it to be accessible to people who it mattered to; not only to the policymakers. He and Gabriel Kahn, USC Annenberg professor and LA journalist, made it happen.

Crosstown Traffic is exactly the kind of inter-school collaboration that the Annenberg Leadership Initiative is looking for. Combining the students' strengths from their respective fields can make LA commuters and drivers look forward to a better flow of traffic in LA's future.

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