Avoid traffic jams with your mobile phone | Bangkok Post: learning

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Avoid traffic jams with your mobile phone

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On Blackberries already, the Traffy mobile phone app allows drivers to check traffic with webcams, Google Maps and social networking sites. 

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Keeping track of the traffic: This app is essential in bustling Bangkok by Sasiwimon Boonruang


trafficViewing a road traffic condition on your handset will become easier and more convenient, especially for BlackBerry users, as the Traffy application is available at BB's App World.

Developed over the past few years by a research team at National Electronics and Computer Technology Centre (Nectec), Traffy is a web application that reports road traffic conditions in real time. The Blackberry version is called iRoute.

Creator Nectec has opened up the Traffy application programming interface (API), the channel that allows any software developer to add on to the app or develop a new program from it.

Traffy project leader Wasan Pattara-atikom said many developers had approached Nectec to add on to the program - and the public will benefit from this, as they are all free.

Brain Evolution, one of those companies, has been developing the app for BlackBerry based on the Traffy source code. Some other developers are working with Android, so we can expect to see a version of the Traffy app on that platform in the future

Nectec has also invited independent developers and university students to join a contest to find uses for the Traffy API. Their work can be submitted from July to September.

Information opened up for software developers include CCTV data, weather forecasts, GPS information and travelling times.

"The API will enlarge the impact of the existing information," Wasan said, adding that more than 500 developers, independents and companies, are undertaking further development of Traffy.

Apart from the information sources that are contributed by government agencies such as the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, the Highway Police and Thai Traffic Police, Traffy also can access traffic information from CCTV, social network site Twitter, and volunteering GPS-equipped vehicles. Today, there are some 12,000 Twitter users on Traffy.

The Traffy program reports realtime road traffic conditions in Bangkok and its suburbs via a website, http://www.traffy.in.th, that supports Java, Symbian, Windows Mobile, iPhone and smartphone.

The website displays the route, outbound and inbound, in the form of a map, including images, statistics and graphs with Google Maps.

Nectec has access to video from about 100 CCTV cameras set up in heavy traffic areas. "We call it 'Traffy Social Eye' which aims to increase the realtime traffic information recorded by the CCTV cameras. The information comprises both video and still images that link to the main system of Traffy," Wasan said, noting that this will be helpful to both the traffic-control agencies and the general public.

Some applications we can expect by the additional development of Traffy API include a route-calculating system; route search for avoiding accidents and congested traffic; parking lot reports; line management for buses; and rain forecasts.

(Source: Bangkok Post, Keeping track of the traffic, This app is essential in bustling Bangkok, 21/06/2011, Sasiwimon Boonruang, link)

Traffic and Software Vocabulary

Traffy application - a mobile phone app and computer software system that helps drivers keep track of traffic conditions in Bangkok, developed at the Thai government agency Nectec (See website)

keep track of - watching a situation closely, making sure you have the newest information (up-to-date information), also called "monitor"
in real time -
when computers process data immediately, displaying results immediately to the people using the data

National Electronics and Computer Technology Centre (Nectec) - a Thai government organisation for research and development in computing, software and telecommunications (See website and Wikipedia)

app - same as "application"
application - a computer program that helps a used do some useful task, also known as an "app", the popularity of the word has increased recently with the widepspread use of mobile devices such as the iPhone, IPad and Android devices (See Wikipedia and on mobile application development)

BlackBerry - a popular handheld mobile phone (and secure mobile phone service) with a small keyboard for receiving emails and typing out answers to them, tablets also after they are released (See Wikipedia)
BB - same as "Blackberry"
BB's App World
- same as "Blackberry App World"
Blackberry App World - a service which "provides BlackBerry users with an environment to browse, download, and update third-party applications. The service went live on April 1, 2009" (See Wikipedia and website)

Android - Android mobile phone operating system, Google's platform for mobile phone software development based on Linux and providing data storage, text messaging, a web browser, and video-audio-image support, as well as several other features (See Wikipedia)
Operating System (OS) - on a computer the software system that connects computer programs and software to the hardware (See Wikipedia)
mobile phone OS - an operating system for a mobile phone like Android above (See Wikipedia)

proprietary -
owned by a company
proprietary operating systems - operating system software that is owned by a company (for example, Microsoft Windows)
proprietary software - software owned by a company
open source software - software not owned by a company (See Wikipedia)

platform - computing platform, a combination of software and hardware used to run a computer system, for example a computer gaming platform, a mobile phone platform, an operating system platform, or software platform (See Wikipedia)

Application Programming Interface (API) - the set of functions that a programming language or operating system provides to support requests made by computer programs (See Wikipedia)
open up API -
allow everyone to use the API

traffic
- the number traveling to a place during a period of time (people, aircraft, ships, trains, cars, trucks, etc.) ความหนาแน่นของจำนวนคน หรือยานพาหนะในช่วงเวลาใดช่วงเวลาหนึ่ง
road traffic condition - the traffic situation at a certain place on a road, street, expressway, etc (whether traffic is moving quickly or is stopped, at a standstill)
bustling - a place full of busy people, working, moving, going places, full of energy

software - computer software, the computer programs that people use on computers like MS Word that allow people to work on computers (See Wikipedia)
software development - the process of writing computer programs (See Wikipedia)
software developer - a computer programmer, a person who writes and tests software (See Wikipedia)

project leader - the person who is leading and managing a team of computer programmers developing a software "app" (software application)
source code - the actual lines of a computer program that makes software work (written by a computer programmer)

CCTV - Close Circuit TV, security camera, video cameras used to watch what is going on in a place, to prevent theft or illegal entry, in places such as banks, casinos, airports, military installations, and convenience stores (See Wikipedia)

data - facts or information used for making calculations or decisions ข้อมูล

forecasts - what experts say will happen in the future คาดการณ์
weather forecast - what the weather will be in the near future according to experts (rain or no rain, storms, temperature, sunny or cloudy, etc) (See Wikipedia)

GPS - a Global Positioning System, small device that allows you determine your position on a map, mobile phones often have this device nowadays (See Wikipedia)

vehicles
- machines with an engine used to carry people or goods from place to place ยานพาหนะ
GPS-equipped vehicle - a car (or other vehicle) with a GPS system in it (so driver can see where they are on the map)

volunteer (noun) - a person who does some work to help people without getting paid any money อาสาสมัคร
volunteer X for Y (verb) - offer X for use Y  
volunteering GPS-equipped vehicles - offering their car to be used to provide information for the Traffy (traffic monitoring system)

developers - software developers
development - software development
undertake - do something (that takes a long time)
undertaking development of a software application - going through the long process of writing and testing software

access - the ability to get something สิทธิหรือโอกาสในการใช้
access information - the ability to get some information you need
network - a large system of connected parts, organisations, people, etc. เครือข่าย
site - website

smartphone - mobile phones that offer advanced features so they become a lot like a computer (See Wikipedia)

route - the way that planes, buses, trains, or ships travel regularly เส้นทางของรถ เรือ เครื่องบิน,etc.
inbound - travelling towards a particular point, particular into a city ขาเข้า
outbound - travelling away from a particular point, away from a city ขาออก (opposite of inbound)
statistics - facts about something, described by counting them สถิติ
Google Maps - Google's map software and service for the internet, "offers street maps, a route planner for traveling by foot, car, or public transport and an urban business locator for numerous countries around the world" (See Wikipedia)

undertaking - working on a project (that will take some time)

suburbs - areas on the edge of a large town or city where people who work in the town or city often live ชานเมือง

traffic-control agencies - government agencies that work to control traffic in the city and reduce traffic congestion
congested traffic - when there are a lot of cars on the road, so traffic is moving slowly

search - to look somewhere carefully in order to find something ค้นหา
search engine - software for searching for web pages and information on the internet (or some other place like the hard disk of your computer) (See Wikipedia)

route -
a way to travel from one place to another place, a path ทาง, เส้นทางของรถ เรือ เครื่องบิน
route search - a search engine for finding a route between two places
route-calculating system - software for finding the best route between two places (quick, with little traffic)

accident -
when cars hit other cars (or people or some structure on the side of the road) causing property damage, injuries and death อุบัติเหตุ
parking lot - a building or special paved area for parking cars, a car park ที่จอดรถ, สถานที่จอดรถ, ลานจอดรถ, ที่โล่งกว้างซึ่งแบ่งเป็นช่องไว้ให้รถจอด   

line - bus line
bus line - a bus service along a fixed route (buses all have the same bus number)

General Vocabulary

essential - necessary and important ที่จำเป็น ที่สำคัญ
handset - the part of a telephone that you hold next to your head and speak into (here: same as mobile phone)
convenient - easy to use, an easy way to do something

channel - a way of communicating with people or getting something done ช่องทาง
benefit - to get help or an advantage from something ผลประโยชน์

independent - separate, not connected, working by yourself with your own resources พึ่งตนเอง
contest - to compete for something โต้แย้ง ถกเถียง
submitted - formally given to someone so that they can make a decision about it ยื่น  ยื่นเอกสารเพื่อการพิจารณา

impact - an effect or influence ผลกระทบ

independents - people not attached to and loyal to one politician or party
supports - helps

X comprises Y, Z, ... - X is made of Y, Z ... , X has parts Y, Z
link - to connect เชื่อม

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