FAQ

General

Can I let someone know about road conditions that aren't displayed on the map or that are out of date on the map?

Traffic Management staff monitor the city road work from 6am to 8pm. The quickest way to report road conditions is via the Ottawa_Traffic Twitter account.

The map displays traffic delay information for various roads. How is this information generated?

Data for the traffic delay information comes services from our GIS provider (ESRI). It is provided as a service, but the City of Ottawa doesn't warranty the information.

I passed road construction that wasn't present on the traffic map, why is that?

Planned Traffic Events are entered in advance by Traffic Management staff. Events may not be entered for various reasons (e.g. based on anticipated impact). Similarly, planned events may have been entered on the traffic map, but the event ends up being cancelled or following a different schedule.

What time zone is used on the website?

All time and time information is presented in local Ottawa time (EST/EDT). A twenty-hour clock is used for displaying time information.

Cameras & Privacy

What steps are taken to protect my privacy?

Staff operating the traffic cameras are bound by guidelines in order to protect the privacy of individuals. Additionally, the recorded video and camera images used by the Traffic Maps are at low resolution and quality in order to avoid inadvertently displaying individually identifying information such as license plates or faces.

Can I obtain traffic camera footage?

Traffic Camera footage is archived for 30 days. During that thirty days, footage may be requested by making an Access to Information request.

Why is the camera at location X missing?

Privacy and sensitivity is a key concern in the management of the traffic cameras. There may be cases where staff disable a camera in order to protect privacy or out of other considerations.

Why doesn't the website provide more details about the camera images (e.g. direction)?

The traffic cameras can be rotated, tilted and zoomed by staff in the Traffic Operations Center. Because the cameras move freely, information such as camera direction can't be reported on the website.

Data Usage

Can I use traffic camera images for my own application?

Yes, the cameras can be used by 3rd party developers. It is requested that developers register at the City of Ottawa Open Data site. If an application is provided for distribution to the public, the client applications should receive camera images from the developer's servers not directly from the City of Ottawa sources.

Can I use data for my own applications?

Yes! The data is posted in JSON that can be re-used by 3rd party developers. Further information about accessing and interpreting the data can be found in the Traffic Data Open Data description.