Cycling risks communication using Web-GIS: different visualisation techniques and their effectiveness
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Scottish Government has been committed for many years to encouraging cycling as main private means of transport, in 2008 1% of all Scottish travel were made by bicycle, the vision is to increase this rate to 10% by 2020. In 2012, 2% of travels between 3 and 5 km in Scotland were made by bicycle, the goal is actually far but in the meantime we are noticing that cycling has become more and more popular in daily commute, especially in urban environments where its rapid growth has usually been associated with safety problems. In Scotland and UK between 2011 and 2012 the number of people injured in accidents involving bicycles has raised. Reducing casualties is therefore a primary objective sought by public institutions at any levels. I will explore innovative visualisation techniques and I will elaborate a safe route planner able avoid critical areas where cycling accidents tend to cluster. Bicycles collisions data from 2005-2012 are provided by Department for Transport. A safe route choice model will make use of information derived from this dataset to optimise a least cost path algorithm for the route planner. Effectiveness of the route planner will be tested to assess the risk reduction and to evaluate how conceived risk communication techniques succeed at generating awareness in experienced and non-experienced cyclists. The first test will actually highlight the success of the model while users will responses will vary according to their cycling experience. The research will fill gaps regarding cyclist aimed web-GIS services and at the same time will point out how the communication and perception of risk might be taken into account for further research.