Providing Transportation Planning Data in Dublin using SVG and XML

Peter Cranny - Head of Geographic Information Systems, Kieran Kirwan - Executive Transportation Planner,
Dublin Transportation Office, Dublin, Ireland.


The Dublin Transportation Office (DTO) was established in 1995 to coordinate the implementation of an agreed integrated transport strategy for the Greater Dublin Area

The current DTO 'Platform for Change' aims to produce a practicable set of recommendations for new transport infrastructure and complimentary measures to manage projected growth in the demand for travel over the next twenty years. It aims not just to provide another report on a shelf but an ongoing planning process. The DTO makes a continuous input to transportation planning and land use policy through a team of engineers, planners, GIS officers and administrators who specialise in Transportation Planning , Transportation Modelling , Traffic Management and Land Use Planning.

The Dublin Transportation Office is the custodian of one of the largest transportation models in Europe which provides a wealth of traffic statistics, trends and forecasts for the region. In addition to providing current transportation data for Dublin, the model makes forecast for 10 and 20 year horizons. The forecasts are based on current best forecasts and trends in population, employment, car ownership and general economic conditions for the region over the forecast period. The model has been used as the principal design and evaluation tool for these and all major transportation proposals currently being planned and implemented in Dublin. The development of the model since its original inception in 1991 has involved many years of work in data collection, analysis and input.

Among the many outputs from the model are (existing and forecast):

Advances in data-exchange techniques have opened the way for the delivery of better transportation planning data to local authorities, planning agencies, transport operators, consultancies and all other stakeholders within the region. A number of programs are currently being implemented to enable the exchange of traffic and transportation data between the various agencies in the region. Although existing transportation planning tools work quite well for data that is centrally maintained it often remains difficult to make use of information that is distributed across the multiple agencies in the region. As a result, many of the data requests cannot be answered efficiently.

SVG and XML offers an opportunity to answer these requests in a highly efficient and user-friendly manner via the internet. The paper describes a practical implementation of an SVG-XML based approach to the provision and exchange of DTO transportation data.