As the newspaper for Monroe County, Pennsylvania, the Pocono Record (part of the Dow Jones Local Media Group) is committed to delivering up-to-date community news. Much of the population commutes to New York City or New Jersey, so traffic information is a vital part of the paper’s online edition. Residents use the Poconos Traffic Center to check traffic flow, locate roadwork congestion, and link to further information about each traffic incident.
John Misinco, the Pocono Record’s Online Producer, built the application using Caspio’s integration with Google Maps, and recently added new features from the latest release of Caspio Map Mashup v7. The app now displays live traffic visualization and three-color icons showing the severity of traffic and roadwork events.
“The ability to use custom icons, as well as having different icons to correspond with different types of traffic incidents, allowed us to create a product that is straightforward and easy to navigate for readers. And being able to pull data from multiple databases into one mashup is a huge plus,” said Misinco.
The Poconos Traffic Center displays traffic information from a variety of sources. Roadwork information that comes from Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is displayed with diamond shaped roadwork icons, and traffic incidents from the 511PA highway information network are marked with triangular road sign icons.
The map configuration required no programming since the Map Mashup v7 is now entirely wizard-based with behind-the-scenes integration with any Caspio account. “Caspio’s new mashup features allow us to do so much more. The wizard-like utility is so seamless that anyone without any knowledge of coding can create one in just minutes. It couldn’t be any easier to set up,” said Misinco.
What’s around the bend for the Poconos Traffic Center? Misinco sees great opportunities ahead. Currently, he’s looking into using Caspio’s DataHub feature to automate a real-time feed of traffic accidents.
As an early adopter of Caspio within the Dow Jones Media Group, Misinco continues to innovate at the Pocono Record with his highly useful online applications. “In an era when newsrooms have limited resources, Caspio takes the technology aspect out of the equation so we can focus our energy on providing good, quality journalism,” said Misinco.
The Map Mashup is free for all Caspio accounts. Read about new features.
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