VICROADS’ wasted opportunity

This morning, I visited VICROADS new real time traffic information map, hoping to see something half way useful. I was disappointed! So, I sent them some feedback:

Congratulations on the release of your new traffic info service. What an utterly wasted opportunity it represents!

Why didn’t you develop a tool using Google’s Map API? Then you wouldn’t have excluded Mac users or the growing percentage of Windows users who have discarded the buggy, fault-ridden, default browser.

Through the Google maps interface, you could have accepted user submissions that hilighted local traffic problems instead of just concentrating on the freeways.

I have no doubt you could also have cut your development times dramatically – not having to develop a navigational interface, but that’s alright – you’ve got my taxes and fees to pay for all that!

It’s good enough for dozens of government and semi government organisations to use in the US and UK for traffic information, so why not here?

And what is it with this pathetic 2 line comments box! You want to discourage people from saying too much?

Was that too ranty?

If you wonder what I’m going on about – check out these examples:

Toronto must have some nice data for people to play with. Here’s another excellent Toronto traffic mashup.

4 replies on “VICROADS’ wasted opportunity”

  1. Google doesnt have mapping ability available to Australia nor does Yahoo!. I do agree that it is stupid for a gov agency to put a website out that is not accessible to everyone.

  2. Google doesn’t have the road maps, but VICROADS obviously do – they used them in their lame online app. All that they needed to do was make an overlay. It could have been so beautiful 🙁

  3. They couldn’t get their bloody stupid bicycle route maps right, so why would they bother doing anything else well?

    I love this from their page: “may be viewable in the other browsers by June 2006” – which prompts the question, why didn’t they do it properly in the first place?

    Oh yeah, and when did you last see a serious corporate web site that demanded you use IE?

    No, I don’t think that’s too ranty – just don’t expect a response any time soon. How do you tend to respond when the boot’s on the other foot?

  4. Well, to be fair, I did get a prompt response – from a real person!

    “…we have decided to bring back the old freeway travel time, current road alerts and tow truck allocations sites. You will be able to access these until we have upgraded the new site to be compatible with other browsers. Access to the old sites should be available by close of business Monday 20 February”

    Browser compatibility and accessibility aside (google maps isn’t exactly AAA!) – I still think they have blown a chance to have a really usable, useful and interactive site… bloody shame!

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