How it works

This site / web application is built on top of the traffic layer within Google Maps. The specified layer uses 4 colors to represent traffic congestion: green, orange, red, dark-red. The darker the color is, the more congestion can be observed in that location.

Throughout the day, the web app saves an image for each tracked location, containing the traffic data reported by Google Maps. After a couple of minutes, the images are analyzed, and the percentages of the 4 traffic colors are calculated.

Let's call these percentages:
P0 → green
P1 → orange
P2 → red
P3 → dark red

Obviously , the sum of all these percentages is 100:
P0 + P1 + P2 + P3 = 100
Based on these percentages, the TCI (Traffic Congestion Index) is calculated:

TCI = (0 * P0) + (1 * P1) + (2 * P2) + (3 * P3)

So the minimum value of TCI is 0, and the maximum value of TCI is 300 (highly improbable to happen). Examples:

P0 P1 P2 P3 TCI Comments
100 0 0 0 0 Awesome traffic (very unlikely to happen in big cities)
85.42 7.21 2.51 4.86 26.81 Low traffic congestion
41.78 13.08 6.42 38.72 142.08 High traffic congestion

Frequently Asked Questions

How is traffic congestion index calculated?

The Traffic Congestion Index (TCI) is calculated by periodically analyzing the traffic layer in Google Maps. This analysis is based on the number of pixels displaying specific colors (green, orange, red, and dark red), which represent different levels of traffic congestion. A formula is then applied to these data to calculate an easy-to-understand traffic congestion value.

What is an acceptable traffic congestion index value?

After analyzing over five years of traffic data, an acceptable threshold for the congestion index has been identified as 25. Any value above this indicates that the location experiences significant traffic congestion issues. In such cases, it is advisable to explore various traffic fluidization methods tailored to the specific challenges and characteristics of the affected area.

Parks are also green on Google Maps. Did you know that?

Of course, but they use different shades of green. They are not taken in consideration when calculating TCI. Same thing applies for traffic markers (ie: road under construction).