News item | 07/31/2020 | 13:11
A world first: starting this week, the Netherlands will be the first country in the world to receive a digital overview of traffic signs. The data of the signs (including the designation code and exact location) are stored digitally and made available as open data. This is good news for road authorities, information service providers and road users. Correct and up-to-date in-car information on road signs can increase road safety.
Commissioned by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and regional authorities, the data of road signs in the Netherlands are digitally stored and made available. This includes the image on the board, the designation code and the exact location of the board. Collected data is made available as open data via the National Road Traffic Data Database (NDW), for example to information service providers and road authorities. By processing this data in traffic apps or navigation systems, road users can receive up-to-date information about the traffic situation on their route. The Netherlands is the first country in the world with such a digital overview of traffic signs. In the first instance, this concerns the data of all signs along provincial and main roads and the signs in the 130 largest municipalities in our country. After the summer, signs will follow in all smaller municipalities of our country.
HR Group, specialist in (traffic) objects in public space, has collected the required data from virtually all traffic signs along and above all roads in the Netherlands on behalf of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. In any case for the next two years, with the possibility of extension, HR Group will keep that data up to date. The dataset will be made available to all interested parties as a basic service free of charge via the NDW.
For road authorities, such a current database means that the management of traffic signs can be considerably simplified. In addition, the use of the app developed for this now offers the possibility to process data from temporarily placed signs (such as for road works or events) and adjustments to the signs file quickly and efficiently.
Until recently, the combination of exact location, placement next to or above the road, the exact message and the scope of many road signs was not always known. For providers of information services and navigation equipment, this is precisely important information to provide road users with optimum information: about the currently applicable speed limits, parking options or loading and unloading areas. But also about overtaking bans, narrowing of roads, etc. The accuracy and timeliness of such information can contribute to increasing road safety.
More efficient road management
Road authorities can use the data from the up-to-date digital file to organize their traffic sign management and maintenance much more efficiently. With the aforementioned app, the data of every new or temporarily placed board can be quickly and easily included in the national database. The data of changed or removed signs is adjusted in the national traffic sign database. Changing data with the app is well secured, including through the use of authorization codes, which guarantees the security of the data.