Thursday, September 22, 2011

The MMDA Navigator

Finally, MMDA does something which shows some semblance of sense.

A few days ago, the Metro Manila Development Authority released its first attempt of making information actually accessible to the public. The MMDA Navigator, an application for iPhones, iTouch and iPads, became available for download through iTunes.

The product of Yves Gonzales’ inspiration (Yves Gonzales is a lawyer and an iPad developer – a cool combination indeed – maybe he can make a bar exam reviewer app sometime haha), it took 9 months in the making

The app promises to make available live traffic conditions along 6 major roads and highways in the Metro, including EDSA, Quezon Ave, Espana, C5, Roxas Boulevard and SLEX; and they are now working to include both Katipunan and Commonwealth, 2 of the usually more congested thoroughfares in the metro.

The app allows users to look at traffic through the system view which is color-coded for instant identification, with red indicating heavy traffic, yellow for moderate and green for traffic (traffic light colors for easier understanding).

These data is encoded from the MMDA’s network of CCTVs scattered around the metro; the traffic enforcers (who are always looking for “pang-merienda”) armed with hand-held radio sets, and the public (a very good idea considering that using the public is like multiplying eyes and ears a thousandfold) through twitter (@MMDANavigator) or through mobile messaging (0933-7401258). Information from the public is verified by traffic enforcers, if the area does not have a CCTV camera.

Personally, I think this is the best idea a government agency has had in ages when it comes to updating information dissemination, it is just sad that they made the app available only to Apple product owners; meaning only the upper middle class and the upper class are the ones who are, more often than not, able to access the information. However, according to a radio DJ, I heard last night that they are developing programs for other hand-held devices for wider access and distribution. This is a great thing, considering that the app gives out valuable information relevant to every commuting person. The app became the 14th most downloaded app in the Philippine App Store, just 10 hours after its release.

Maybe I should buy an iPhone… so I can download the MMDA Navigator. Haha! We’ll see. :)

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