Advanced data analytics and sharing technologies are essential tools in the battle to keep London's roads and economy moving, according to Transport for London (TfL) director of road management Alan Bristow.
Bristow said during a keynote at the Esri UK 2014 conference that TfL began using geographic information system (GIS) technology in a bid to reduce the significant damage congestion causes the UK economy each year.
"We're using Esri's ArcGIS technology to make ourselves faster, more agile. The technology is essential for us as we need mapping data for our decision making and to help people with theirs," he said.
"There is an economic reason for us to do this. Today 20 percent of all congestion in the UK happens in London and costs us £2bn a year."
ArcGIS is a GIS technology designed to let users compile, share and analyse geographic data and mapping information.
Bristow highlighted TfL's use of the technology during the Olympic Games as an example of how it can improve efficiency.
"We had a small event in London called the Olympic Games. Most of the events happened outside central London, at Stratford, but many VIPs wanted to stay in central London and had to travel using the Olympic group network - which on many occasions was closed as we also had the bright idea to have races on it," he said.
"To deal with this we built the 'Games Playbook'. Using GIS with our new system we can get more information and share it faster. The Games Playbook gave us a time-scale view split into 15-minute segments of what was going on throughout the three-month period. This meant anyone using it could know exactly what was happening during the Games and advise accordingly."
TfL is one of many government bodies working to improve efficiency using GIS solutions. Harrow Council said during an interview with V3 that it had saved millions using GIS technology to improve waste removal and grounds maintenance
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