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Enhancing Collaboration through Web-based Visualization and Analysis of Traffic Crash Data

Project Description

Currently, New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) uses various static maps to visualize traffic crash locations. Due to their static characteristics, users are constrained from dynamically and interactively zooming in and out, limiting their ability to discern spatial and temporal patterns associated with traffic crash data. Consequently, static maps lack the capacity to provide comprehensive insights into the distribution, clustering, and causation of crashes across both time and space. This limitation underscores the increasing demand for dynamic and interactive mapping techniques which empower users to investigate and analyze significant patterns and causal relationships, which will enhance informed decision-making processes. To solve the problems inherent with static maps, this study will focus on exploring the utility of dynamic and interactive web mapping techniques to visualize and analyze traffic crash data with the aim of helping transportation professionals determine the causes of traffic crashes and identify high-crash locations and other associated spatial and temporal patterns, and ultimately, achieving improved safety, enhanced resiliency, and increased efficiency for road users.


A web mapping and analysis portal will be developed to enable: (1) online visualization – displaying the locations and associated attributes of traffic crashes; (2) online analytics – analyzing and displaying crash hot/cold spots, crash density, and crash counts in an area of interest (AOI); and (3) map export – downloading the hot/cold spots maps and crash density maps. Application Programming interfaces (APIs) for the web portal’s applications will be developed and freely shared with transportation agencies and community organizations at all levels to enable them to develop similar web applications, further spreading a culture of safety. The proposed project also aims to produce two peer-reviewed journal articles. Training workshops will be provided to educate prospective users (both inside and outside New Mexico) on the use of the web portal and its APIs for workforce development and technology transfer.


The proposed research aims to contribute significantly to the field of transportation safety, with a focus on four key areas. Firstly, it seeks to advance the understanding of utilizing dynamic and interactive online mapping techniques for visualizing and analyzing traffic crash data, thereby enhancing knowledge in this domain and enabling sophisticated visualizations and in-depth analysis of complex traffic crash data. Secondly, the research aims to establish effective procedures and approaches for integrating spatial-based web applications into transportation agencies' decision support systems, fostering improved decision-making processes. Thirdly, a key focus of the research lies in augmenting safety measures across transportation networks to support overall safety and efficiency. By applying web mapping technologies, the project aims to identify high-risk areas, accident-prone zones, and potential safety hotspots, thereby empowering transportation agencies to proactively implement targeted safety interventions and reduce the occurrence of traffic crashes. Lastly, the research aims to promote workforce development by emphasizing education on the use of the developed web mapping and analysis portal, ensuing a workforce equipped to harness the potential of advanced web mapping technologies effectively.


06/01/2023 to 05/31/2024


University of New Mexico

Principal Investigator

Su Zhang

University of New Mexico

ORCID: 0000-0002-0396-2518


Research Project Funding

Federal: $126,388

Non-Federal: $0

Contract Number


Project Number


Research Priority

Promoting Safety

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