I spent years learning about transportation data of all kinds - You can get the benefits, for free!
Mission: Many places in Maryland have an active base of transportation advocates and rich sources of data. My mission is to empower transportation advocacy in Maryland’s underserved communities by making similar information available to them.
How to Use this Site
Gather data sources from the sections, analyze software with the sources below, contact me for aerial imagery services, or ask me for help with your plan!. Unfortunately these resources are Maryland-focused, but it can still help for other states.
- Traffic Crash Data On this page you will find resources on how to take the publically-available crash data in Maryland and turn it into a powerful tool for advocacy. I also provide some tips on preparation of that data.
- Infrastructure Data Here you will find data on the roads. Things such as speed sensor data, traffic volume totals, pavement condition, roadway maps, and more.
- Travel and Demographic Data Great collection of contextual data for applying the other data sources. Information on populations and travel trends by mode.
- Land and Air Data Here is my collection of resources on satellite imagery, terrain data, anything mainly focused on the earth (compared to man-made things such as roads).
Resources for Nerds (and non-nerds too!)
- The Maryland GIS Data Portal. Many links on this page will come from their hard work. I have used this source countless times for hundreds of transportation projects. They also have an API so you can ingest the data programmatically.
- Draw.io is an amazing resource for making professional-grade diagrams, whether it be an idea you have for a new bike lane, or a flow-chart for your advocacy. The Google Drive compatability is amazing, everything is in the cloud!
- NerdFonts This page has an exhaustive list of icons and fonts. Great resource for an app or graphic design project.
- Vecteezy if you need graphics and icons to spruce up your presentation, or for street art. This is an exhaustive collection of those items. Just be sure to filter on “free” when searching. You can even edit the graphic before downloading! The images can be scaled to huge sizes without ever distorting.
- Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance Great collection of contextual data for Baltimore City, already aggregated in map form. The team behind it is a great resource as well for help with data and understanding the city.
- Non-Motorized Planning Toolkit Good resource from the Feds for properly planning a pedestrian safety effort. The site has tons of resources for the more technical items too, whether it be the width of a crosswalk or calibrating your exposure model.
- Sentinel Hub Large resource of satellite data including daily imagery and impervious surface indices. Not the best resolution though.
- This book helped me understand how data can be plotted on a map (otherwise known as GIS) and how it can be used to its fullest potential. For transportation analysis, maps are probably the most powerful tool for pitching, planning, and evaluating.
You don’t need an expensive software license to be “data-driven”. Some of these tools are on the advanced side, but I will try to add tools with low barriers to entry over time. Some of these are web-based.
- Maryland iMap Geocoder Service Free batch geocoding of addresses, just upload your spreadsheet. This is good for getting points on a map if you have collected a bunch of data and do not know how to get it into map form. Help here.
- NASA Earth Data TONS of map layers in an easy to use web interface. Export to your own software if needed. Nearly any type of information about the land and environment, and near real-time satellite imagery. Multispectral imagery exists as well which lets you see features from the sky you may not be able to otherwise.
- USGS Earth Explorer More data about the physical earth. Additional abilities for geocoding and exporting.
- Google Earth Pro the desktop version allows you to import datasets listed throughout this page and combine them together in Earth. If you just want a quick lookaround, Google Earth Web exists too.
- R Studio Free and powerful data analysis software with tons of plugins that can help with transporation analysis.
- Jupyter Notebooks for people who like to use Python in their data analysis, this is an easy way to use it. Help documentation
- Open Drone Map If you have a drone, turn it into a mapping machine with this tool. Then you can export the geo-referenced image into a tool like Google Earth Pro and overlay data. Maps Made Easy is another drone map hosting platform that is basically free as far as an individual user would need.
- Tracking busses with Open Data from T101 alum Brian Seele
- Case Harvester Amazing effort by Open Justice Baltimore that lets you build a database of court cases. Identify trends in traffic enforcement. Tons of great research ideas if you can get this tool running. They also have a request form where you can request to access their data.
How can I help you?
Click the menu icon on the upper-right of the page. You will find a form where you can ask me for help directly, or request drone services.