BACKGROUND AND RATIONALE
Since 2006, I have maintained a "personal map" consisting traffic lights POI on my maps for the Hamilton area together with the NZ Open GPS project maps.
My personal view is that it adds another level of detail to the maps which may be useful when planning a trip.
At the moment, these traffic light icons on the map are just a POI like any other POI - they don't contain any special instructions on routing or in calculating travel times or ETA. They are there to look "pretty" but can be changed later if necessary (see below).
This map can be turned on and off on your GPS if you decide to use them. Some alternate views on this are that this clutters up the screen too much and represent unnecessary detail. If this is the case, then ignore this.
For me, in a new area, if I'm planning a trip/route in Mapsource or on GPSr, I can eyeball the route and if I notice too many traffic lights on the suggested route, I can decide to use an alternate route which in reality may take a shorter time to reach my destination (all other things being equal such as distance etc).
I am happy to "maintain" and expand this to other parts of NZ if users are keen on this mini project.
Just send me the coordinates of the traffic lights. To do this, please use Mapsource, zoom in to the maximum setting, click on a waypoint at the traffic light location - ie dead centre of an intersection or click it on your GPS during your travels. Copy and paste this coordinates into an email or this forum and I will endeavour to maintain it and keep it up to date.
Preferred coordinates are Decimal degrees but any type of coordinate system is fine as well.
If we get good support around this and after we have amassed enough traffic lights, we could look at the auto routing and speed calculation issue.
One way of doing this is to change the routing speeds of all streets coming into a traffic light intersection and reduce the speed limit to say 5kmh or 20kmh for the last say 50m. This will then prompt the software to recognise that this is a "slow" patch of road and if an alternative route exists nearby with a higher speed limit, it may then skip this route and use the alternative faster route instead (all other things being equal!). The other benefit is of course a more accurate estimate on ETAs to your destination.
From the early beginnings, thanks to members at NZOGPS, the traffic lights POI project has amassed over 1,100 POIs from Whangarei to Invercargill as at end of October 2008.
DOWNLOAD FREE NZ MAP WITH TRAFFIC LIGHTS
INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO USE NZ TRAFFIC LIGHTS GPS MAP
- download the file, unzip and run the installer.
- This will install into Mapsource
- Traffic lights will appear at a slightly higher zoom level than the Zenbu commercial POIs (ie it will appear first) to aid in route planning.
- Don't forget to stop at a RED LIGHT! :-)
Drive safely. :D