Visualization Dashboard for the Piedmont Triad’s Tour Based Freight Model
Corresponding Author: Colin Smith, RSG
Presented By: Colin Smith, RSG
For many MPOs, a challenge lies not in the availability of adequate travel demand model outputs, but in the ability to efficiently analyze and visualize the outputs. Most travel models include reporting tools, but they are typically geared towards model validation or require additional processing and formatting to be ready for distribution. As a component of the recent update of the Piedmont Triad Regional Model (PTRM) which covers the Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point NC, the model development team implemented a model output dashboard. The dashboard includes interactive summaries of results from the new tour-based freight model that has been added to PTRM.
The dashboard is a single HTML file that is produced at the end of each model run. Since it is an HTML file, it can be linked directly to a website or distributed and opened in a web browser. It contains interactive tabulations, charts, and maps embedded directly into the HTML file so that users can explore the scenario results. The code that produces the dashboard is, like the remainder of the tour-based freight model, written using the open source programming language R, and specifically R Markdown, which combines text and R code to create report outputs. The dashboard’s functionality relies on several R packages, including flexdashboard to convert the R Markdown to a navigable webpage layout, leaflet to render interactive maps (as shown in the screenshot), and plotly to produce dynamic charts.
The presentation will demonstrate the capabilities of the dashboard and discuss how its features support the planning needs of the PTRM’s users. The presentation will also explain the technology used to create the dashboard, introducing the open source tools and the work flow used to customize the dashboard and integrate it with the rest of the PTRM model.
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