All traffic signs in the Netherlands now digitally available
A world-first: The Netherlands is the first country in the world to receive a digital overview of all traffic signs. The data of all signs (their meaning and exact location) is stored digitally and made available as open data. This is positive news for road authorities and information services.
Commissioned by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and regional authorities, data of all road signs in the Netherlands will be stored and made available digitally. This concerns information on the sign (its meaning) and its precise location. Data that is collected is made available as Open Data, for example to information services, as well as to road authorities. By processing this data in traffic apps or navigation systems, road users can receive up-to-date information about the traffic situation further along their route. The Netherlands is the first country in the world to offer such a digital overview of all road signs.
For road authorities, such an up-to-date database means that road sign management can be simplified considerably. In addition, data from temporary signs (such as signposting near road works or events) and adjustments to the road sign database can also be processed. The dataset will also be available at NDW (Dutch National Road Traffic Data Database) and NWB (Dutch National Road Database). Road authorities no longer have to conclude individual contracts, but are given joint access to this valuable data.
HR Groep, a specialist in (traffic) objects in public spaces, has now collected data from virtually all traffic signs along and above all roads in the Netherlands on behalf of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. For at least the next two years, with an option to renew, HR Groep will keep that database up to date and make it available as Open Data. This is realised in close collaboration with the responsible road authorities, who can report changes in their road sign base with a special free app.
Until recently, the exact location, the correctness of that location or the underlying message of many road signs was unknown, whereas this information is vital for information services and navigation equipment to provide road users with reliable information about current maximum speeds, parking spaces or places for loading and unloading, as well as on bans on overtaking, road narrowing, etc. The accuracy and timeliness of such information can increase road safety.
More efficient road management
The up-to-date digital database with data of all traffic signs is an ideal basis for management. With a specially developed app, a road authority can have all data of each new or temporarily sign included in the national database. The data of signs that are removed or changed is updated in the national traffic sign database. Road authorities can use this data to organise their management and maintenance of traffic signs much more efficiently. By including this data in an additional management platform, the road authority can also add and look up management information on each board with a few mouse clicks.
Within Talking Traffic, Dutch authorities and several dozen market parties have been working together on innovative traffic applications and real-time and customised travel and traffic information for road users for a number of years. Thanks to the newly available digital data on all road signs, this information for road users can be made even more comprehensive and reliable.