its-kpi-final_report_v7_4 (1)The work performed on the design and architecture of the ITS Observatory (WP3, led by ICCS) was finalised on 31 December 2015. This signified a major project milestone regarding the overall look and feel of the ITS Observatory, giving shape to our vision for a pan-European ITS Observatory.
Finalising the work on platform specifications, architecture and design allows the project to enter a new phase, one of implementation and testing, which happens to also coincide with the beginning of year 2016.
The work performed provides all stakeholders involved in this project with a much needed finalised view of what the ITS Observatory will be like, considering its aesthetic, as well as functional, design and overall architecture.
In order for this to be achieved, considerable work was performed under all related Tasks, involving both technical and non-technical elements. This work has been reported in two deliverables provided to the European Commission (D3.1 and D3.2), which will become publicly available at the end of 2016..
In more detail:
Specifications: data specifications tackle structure, format and quality but also how to acquire, aggregate and present useful data to the end users
The ITS Observatory specifications were defined, according to the identified requirements. These were further distinguished between specifications on data, algorithms, interface and software platform. The data specifications were extracted from data sets, with a different Meta template applied for each type of data set. These Meta template types are the foundation for the set of key values. The data specifications tackle structure, format and quality but also how to acquire, aggregate and present useful data to the end users. The algorithms included the core of all data processing tools based on key values per Meta template, and covered all processes needed to meet the requirements by the users and background processes needed for the ITS Observatory operation. The interface specifications focused on user’s interfacing with the software platform, including methods to input and query data, as well as any communication and relevant messages between software modules. This was further elaborated and finalised in the software platform design.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): KPIs will cover all priority areas of the ITS Directive 2010/40/EC
All specific KPIs to be supported by the platform were defined. The study launched by DG Move of the European Commission, titled “Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) within the field of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS)” (its-kpi-final_report_v7_4 (1)), was thoroughly analysed to determine which KPIs should be included in the ITS Observatory. An extensive survey of indicators proposed in the literature for deployment as well as for several impact areas, like mobility, traffic efficiency, safety, environment protection, and others, was conducted, to make sure that the KPIs also cover all priority areas of the ITS Directive 2010/40/EC (ITS Directive 2010 40 EC) . These KPIs were also specified according to their correlation with key values as defined in each Meta template. This resulted in an extensive list of KPIs which will be fully supported by the ITS Observatory platform, where applicable. For each KPI, the exact data requirements and the calculation methodology was specified and detailed.
Architecture: software platform architecture is based on open source CMS “Joomla” to ensure stability and ease of use
The overall platform architecture for the ITS Observatory was conceptualised and clearly defined including its functional and communication elements, and was based on the specifications derived in the previous steps of work. The software platform architecture was based on the open source CMS “Joomla”, which is known for its stability and ease of use. A set of wireframes was designed, to make sure that all components are addressed and clearly defined. These wireframes were then used in the final design of the ITS Observatory platform, in order to produce the user interface and all the design elements.
Design: a versatile, user-friendly and intuitive user interface will accommodate all information relevant to the ITS domain
The final design of the platform was completed according to specifications and standards, in order to prepare a functional prototype. The design for the ITS Observatory was distinguished between User Experience & User Interface (UX/UI) Elements, Data Entry Elements, and Onscreen Guides. The overall design was based on the specifications, and included input from all partners as well as input related to the ITS Observatory visual identity concept and design. The features and UX/UI elements were derived from stakeholder feedback, both internal and external to the consortium. The outcomes of work performed related to User Requirements was also taken strongly into consideration, as they were extracted from the state of the art study of existing and previous activities (cooperation platforms & monitoring tools) and the stakeholder workshop organised on 17 June in Brussels). Lastly, the design implements, to the maximum extent possible, all EU and global best practices, such as the standards and guidelines defined by the W3C (https://www.w3.org/standards/). The result is a user-friendly and intuitive user interface, which is based on a responsive design, following a “mobile first” approach. This guarantees that the users will enjoy a seamless experience between devices and browsers, while maintaining all key features and elements, thus contributing to user engagement and maximisation of the ITS Observatory’s impact.
The end result of the work performed during this phase is a software platform which has been designed with the end user in mind. It is versatile, able to accommodate all information relevant to the ITS domain, and provides a straightforward and intuitive interface between user and data.
The real-world functionality of the design and the efficiency of the architecture, will both be tested in the deployment of a functional prototype, which will be later validated by users. This will take place before the actual platform implementation and the public release of the Observatory.
A stakeholder workshop is already planned to take place on 25 February 2016 in Brussels, in order to test the functional prototype (http://its-observatory.eu/event/europes-its-observatory-is-on-its-way-interested-in-testing-it/). This will allow for any fine-tuning and optimisations required, in order to make sure that the ITS Observatory meets all end user expectations and becomes what is set out to be: a single point of reference for all information pertaining to ITS deployment.