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Exploiting traffic data to improve asset management and citizen quality of life - Dr Ajith Kumar Parlikad

This project builds on a tool developed by two Cambridge PhD students (cited below), that allows for the generation of high resolution geographical data heat maps. One can use these heat maps to solve optimisation problems relevant to the common citizen's everyday life.

Final Report

Executive Summary 

The main goal of this project has been to demonstrate how large data sources such as the Google Maps API can be used to inform transportation-related asset management decisions.  

Specifically, we investigate how the interdependence between infrastructures and assets can be studied using transportation data. This involves linking the effect of disruptions in lower-order assets to travel accessibility to private and public infrastructure assets.  

In order to demonstrate the viability of this method, we conduct 5 case studies, 3 public and 2 private. On the public side, we collaborated with two county councils in the United Kingdom, specifically Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire, offering solutions to existing infrastructure-related problems proposed by them.  

We analyse the accessibility to Cambridge University’s new research centres; the criticality of roads leading to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge; and the accessibility to different critical assets in Hertfordshire. On the private side, we solve two examples of commuting problems posed by students at the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Manufacturing (IfM). 


With regards to the usefulness of the Google API data, our final assessment is positive. Considering the range of identified problems and the solutions that the project has managed to develop, we conclude that large-scale data repositories like Google Maps can be used within asset management solutions and criticality analysis. We are confident that we are capable of solving a large number of problems related to criticality, transport and infrastructure, both for private companies and local or regional administrations. 

With regards to demand, our final assessment is also positive. Our exploration of what problems and issues both the private and the public sector are currently facing in the United Kingdom showed that both companies and local governments have questions about transportation, criticality and infrastructure, and that they see our contribution as a useful addition to their existing applications. 

Exploiting Data Image

Image shows the network of critical public transportation routes services Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridgeshire 

Final Report

Accessibility and Criticality in Cambridgeshire - Report for Cambridgeshire County Council


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The Centre for Digital Built Britain is a partnership between the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the University of Cambridge to understand how the construction and infrastructure sectors could use a digital approach to better design, build, operate, and integrate the built environment.

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