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    US Dept of Transportation TransStats
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TranStats from the U.S. Department of Transportation

TranStats is a new website for transportation researchers and analysts, aimed at providing “one stop shopping” for transportation data. The premise is fairly simple: By reducing the time needed for data gathering, more time is available for analysis. And by providing easy linkages across many data sets, we can help achieve new insights. Ultimately, this should result in more timely and more informed decisions, and a better transportation system.

Up to now, the process of compiling data to analyze a problem commonly has involved searching for data sources, contacting various data providers to get the data, often repeated contacts to get more information about the data, then sorting through the data and integrating data from various sources for analysis. This can be a very labor-intensive process, often taking months. TranStats is an e-government initiative aimed at streamlining this whole process.

TranStats offers analysts several unique features:

  • A searchable index of over 100 transportation-related data bases across every mode of transportation — with many social and demographic data sets that are commonly used in transportation analysis.
  • Selective download—the ability to choose variables of interest and download the data directly to your PC for analysis using any data base, spreadsheet, or statistical package.
  • Online data documentation—profiles on each data base, summary information about the tables that comprise a data base, data definitions and code information for data variables.
  • Interactive analytical tools—the ability to do simple statistical summaries, create time series or cross tabulations, generate graphics online, and cut/paste results into reports.
  • Interactive mapping to help visualize geographic data
  • A mapping center with the full National Transportation Atlas Data Base, as well as applications for easily mapping DOT Grants and several other key data sets.

Users can explore the data by transportation mode or by subject area, use keyword searches to find relevant datasets, and get online help. And since all the data in TranStats are indexed with a transportation thesaurus, links to other transportation research are easy through the National Transportation Library.

Transportation modes indexed include

  • Aviation
  • Maritime
  • Highway
  • Transit
  • Rail
  • Pipeline
  • Bike/pedetrian

Subjects covered include

  • Safety
  • Freight transport
  • Passenger travel
  • Infrastructure
  • Economic/financial
  • Social/demographic
  • Energy
  • Environment
  • National security




September 13, 2010


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