Celebration with Open Data: Making Lithuanian Road Imagery Available to Everyone
On February 16th, 2018, Lithuania will celebrate the Centennial of the Restoration of the State. According to the Centennial website, this date marks the birth of a new Lithuania, serving as a bridge between the old Lithuania and the new, independent state.
Part of modern Lithuania includes its well-developed network of motorways, and the Lithuanian Road Administration (LRA) is aiming to make imagery from all the roads of Lithuania accessible publicly by the time Lithuania celebrates 100 years this coming winter.
Bridging Lithuania (click to access the interactive demo)
In 2007, the LRA partnered with the nonprofit Road and Transport Research Institute to capture 360° imagery across a road network spanning 21,244 kilometers. The project was intended to give the most up-to-date visual information about Lithuanian highways and road assets, as well as to support future planning efforts. Captured with a high-end Ladybug camera, the imagery has been uploaded to Mapillary to facilitate sharing with citizens of Lithuania.
Mapillary coverage in Lithuania, September 2017
Technology is playing an important role in the new Lithuania. “Tools like Mapillary, Orbit, Arcgis Portal, and more help us to operate a big amount of data in an appealing, engaging visual manner,” said one official at the LRA. After the 360° imagery was processed with Orbit, it was uploaded to Mapillary where it will be further adapated for display in ArcGIS Online.
The roadway imagery in Lithuania was collected at an interval of 20 meters. On Mapillary, the images get linked to one another in coherent sequences, allowing for easy navigation between photos.
Using Mapillary as a public platform for highway imagery has also opened new possibilities for the LRA’s data management. In the coming year, the LRA is placing a heavy focus on improving the accuracy of road asset data. Mapillary’s ability to automatically detect and classify objects in photos, as well as make this data available in a geospatial format, offers a chance to automate the LRA’s workflow, cut down on project times, and reduce errors.
Automatically detected traffic signs near a roundabout
Across the entire road network, Mapillary reveals the locations of different assets. Traffic signs are geolocated along the road, complete with classification of their type as well as reading of their values. In addition to locating the traffic signs, it is possible to derive information about the road, such as speed limit zones.
In the images below, you can see the locations of speed limit signs, where low speed limits are blue, scaling to red for the highest limits. These can be adapted to show the dominant highway speed for zones across the entire country, seen on the right.
Speed limit signs and speed limit zones
Other assets are also easily visible, including bridges, traffic islands, crosswalks, guard rails, and tunnels. Mapillary detections can also reveal where roads go through different environments, such as urban or forested regions of the country. You can compare buildings (purple) against vegetation (green) in the image below.
Urban vs forested areas along the road network
To explore more of the data derived from Lithuania’s highway imagery, use this interactive map. You can also view the complete imagery from the LRA on the Mapillary web. Information about the LRA's cooperation with Mapillary will also be shared on the official LRA website, on the live road and traffic info website, and the LRA Facebook page. At Mapillary, we wish well to Lithuania on the upcoming 100 year centennial, and look forward to continuing to support transportation projects in Lithuania.