What is data collection?
Data collection tools are used to inform the analysis that guides transportation planning and regulatory decisions. Data collection can occur on a regular basis as part of a traffic monitoring or asset management plan, or for specific projects such as new development or proposed infrastructure improvements.
Why and where is it applied?
Data collection tools are used by transportation and land use planning agencies at all levels. Qualitative and quantitative existing, historic, and projected data is used to inform planning and policy decisions from long-range plans to design-build studies. Depending on the question at-hand, agencies may be interested in obtaining information on anything from national freight flows to consumer behavior to crash data.
For some smaller, local studies, communities may choose to collect new data that is reflective of local conditions. In other cases, obtaining local data may be costly and inefficient. Information from statewide or national databases may appropriate in these cases to effectively answer the question at hand.