NDRoads Mobile Application

Location:  North Dakota
Client:  North Dakota Department of Transportation

Background

After surviving months of snow and ice, we can finally prepare for green grass, fresh air, and…traffic cones? We spend winter driving with white knuckles and summer following detours around construction. 

This is precisely why the North Dakota Department of Transportation’s (NDDOT) Travel Map website is viewed up to 7,000 times a day during weather events. The website’s popularity led the NDDOT to develop a mobile Travel Map application to make this information even more accessible to the public.

The Project

NDDOT desired a technologically advanced solution to help provide up-to-date road conditions to the general public. In April 2012, Houston Engineering, Inc. (HEI), teamed with The Nerdery to conduct a project definition phase for the development of a mobile travel map application. A User Experience team was formed to aid in the project definition phase, outlining project goals and gathering information from stakeholders.

We considered the wide variety of people who would be interested in this technology, from general travelers and commuters to drivers of commercial vehicles and farmers. We conducted interviews to gather input from each of these groups, and their ideas were incorporated into the design. Many features and pages were created as part of the mobile travel map, including a map view, common routes, favorites screen, and messages screen. A well-designed home screen made it easy for people to quickly find the information they need, including road conditions, road closures, cameras, and weather. 

HEI used a mobile web application development approach to remove the complexity of writing programming code for each native mobile platform. This was an innovative way to keep initial development and future maintenance costs low. The final mobile application uses a mix of programming frameworks, including Esri-Javascript API, JQuery Mobile, and HEI’s very own wq library (http://wq.io/).

The app’s performance and design have been well received and it recently received the 2014 TransComms Skills Award in the website and design division. The app also ranked highly among other mobile traveling apps in a report from University of Minnesota Center for Transportation Studies.

With the mobile application, the public can access a wide variety of helpful information from any location. Information is readily available to make traveling safe and easy, even when people are not able to access a desktop computer. Taking complex GIS data and making it approachable and available to the general public is a rewarding way to use new technology.

The final application was launched in the fall of 2012. The application is available at:
http://www.dot.nd.gov/travelinfo/m/.

Download the mobile app for Android or IOS.

MobileLogosIOS.jpg MobileLogosAndroid.jpg