About the research
Iowa’s efforts in safety data collection and management have been closely tied to its efforts in data access and analysis, as illustrated by the development and use of the Accident Location and Analysis System (ALAS). The first tool developed in the ALAS effort, PC-ALAS has been used to obtain accident statistics for specific locations and time periods. However, the DOS-based nature of PC-ALAS requires the use of node tables or paper maps.
GIS-ALAS has been developed to address the PC-ALAS difficulties. It incorporates the powerful spatial query and display capabilities of GIS. Phase 2 of the GIS-ALAS effort focuses on extending the usefulness of the system through the completion of several tasks:
- The refinement and enhancement of GIS-ALAS based on input from current users
- The assessment of methods to identify accident rates for highway sections or intersections based on specific accident locations and traffic counts
- The development of an enhanced procedure for link-node/latitude-longitude conversions
- The analysis of changes in emergency response patterns due to the construction of the “Avenue of the Saints”
- The continuation of technology transfer activities, including training and documentation on the enhanced version of GIS-ALAS
This project proposes to address the development of a GIS-based tool to be integrated into the MARS software, with which local agencies, as well as the Motor Vehicles Division, can locate crashes. This tool would use smart maps to allow the user to view a map on a computer screen and select the appropriate crash location. The coordinates of this location would then be saved and linked to the other crash data collected. The tool would be available both in mobile applications (i.e., police vehicles) and in desktop use in a office setting. This would provide the required functionality for creating and providing crash reports, both to local agencies with the mobile application and to local agencies with only the desktop application, as well as to the Motor Vehicle Division.