Accident Explorer gets a turbo-boost

We love our cars in America. So much that over 87 percent of the driving-age population in the United States has driver’s licenses. So if you ever drive a car—and odds say you do—you should check out our newly-upgraded Accident Explorer project, which we first wrote about just over a year ago. It now includes the latest dataset from the National Highway Transportation Safety Board, which is for the year 2014.…

LakeForecast.org: Know what’s happening in Madison-area lakes

The Yahara watershed is home to 370,000 people and 30,000 cows. It covers 170,000 acres and has 5 major lakes, linked by the Yahara River, and formed 14,000 years ago as the glaciers retreated. Reports from early European settlers praised the clarity of the lakes and their beautiful white sand. And cradled among the three northernmost lakes—Mendota, Monona, and Wingra—was the infant city of Madison. You can probably guess what…

Big data & IoT at work in the community

There’s a tendency, in conversations about big data and IoT, to only talk about examples from the extreme upper echelons: the biggest corporations with the largest amounts of data from the most sensors. In the excitement, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that most organizations aren’t multinational megacorps with petabytes of data. Most organizations operate at a much smaller scale: their reach is national or regional. And many…

Accident Explorer: Machine learning with traffic accident data

One evening I went out to the curling club for a few hours and, according to the electronic sign over the highway, three people died on Wisconsin roads while I was there. There are more than 4 million miles of roads in the United States, and 210 million licensed drivers. That’s a lot of opportunities for things to go wrong. And they do: from 2010 through 2013, there were more…