Who are we?

We are just a couple people who used the Minnesota Department of Transportation's web page to see what traffic conditions were like. While you can get a quick taste of what is happening by looking at MN/DOT's incident page, we found it inconvenient to be "clicking" on each incident to see what was going on. We wrote a program that would present all the incidents, with the images from MN/DOT's cameras, on one page. When we saw that others were locating the page through search engines, we decided the pages should have their own domain and more features. So here we are on www.twincitiestraffic(.com|.info|.net)

How do we get the information?

All the information presented on these pages is from the Minnesota Department of Transportation's web site. At this point we have written 4 different programs that keep track of things and there will be several other programs to present the information we have collected to the visitor. The programs are written in PHP, Javascript and Perl.

The first program is the "incident updater" program and it is run once a minute via a cron job. It's job is to monitor the MN/DOT incident web page. The program scrapes the incident page from the web site, parses the pertinent data and then updates a MySQL database. When the program sees an incident for the first time it places the information in the "current" table in the database. The next time it scrapes data, if an incident is no longer present it removes it from the "current" table and moves the data into the "history" table. Each incident is given an "incident ID" number that is used to keep track of each incident.

The second program is the "graph updater" and runs every 5 minutes. This program is not running at this time. The graph creation process will be reinstituted via PHP when time allows.

The third program is the "incident_recorder" and is no longer working. We are looking for a PHP alternative that we had running via Perl at one time.

The fourth program, "movie maker" is also no longer working. Support for the creation of movies was abandoned via Perl, and I was never able to locate a different method. We will be looking for a PHP alternative.

Why do we do this?

Because we can.

Can you add feature X?

Perhaps, what feature would you like to see? Email webmaster (at) twincitiestraffic.info

> Back to the main page <