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35 FIGURE 20 User satisfaction with accuracy and timeliness of information delivery systems. Responder from the San Francisco Bay Area expressed Many state DOTs own and operate Road/Weather Informa- an interest in sensors that collect volume and occu- tion Systems (RWIS). RWIS are field-automated weather and pancy in addition to travel-time data. pavement condition observations points. Typically, however, Responders from California indicated an interest in RWIS observations are used by the maintenance operators more flow data, more cameras, more weather stations, and often are not displayed on traveler information maps. and statewide databases shared among the TMCs; as well as additional data along arterial routes and transit The U.S.DOT Clarus Initiative is actively developing a data. central database of weather data to be available to public Responder from the Eastern Sierra area of California and private information providers. The Clarus initiative will (a rural area) expressed an interest in more cameras, make great strides toward having a universal, quality-con- more HARs, and more vehicle and speed detection. trolled source of weather data throughout the United States. Responders from California also indicated they may be pursuing outside sources for cellular phone and GPS Detailed route-specific weather and pavement condition roadway traffic data to augment performance monitor- models have been developed and are offered to public agen- ing and therefore improve traveler information. cies. Many states, however, have not yet purchased these Responder from Chicago indicated an interest in probe detailed weather reports for traveler information dissemina- data for arterial street travel times. tion systems. Therefore, even when Clarus is completed and detailed Summary Of Current And Future Weather weather data are available, it is unclear whether state DOTs Data Sources operating traveler information Internet and 511 phone sys- tems will invest in harvesting the detailed weather reports In describing weather sources, it is important to note the dif- (either from Clarus or from a private sector value-added ser- ference between data and information: vice provider). Data typically refers to numerical or graphical descrip- One possible explanation is the availability of National tions of weather or road conditions. Weather Service regional weather reports (most often at a Information refers to messages or descriptions that county level). The availability of this free source of weather describe the data in a format that is understandable and information has made it easy for traveler information systems useful to the recipient. to link to the data or incorporate it into their dissemination