What is TrafficDito? According to their website, TrafficDito reports provide real-time updates on Manila traffic road conditions for the Metro Manila. So let’s find out more.
Tell us why you think this is a great product:
The best part about TrafficDito is the focus it puts on the people it wants to help. It’s tapping into our own local groundswell. Social has exploded, and the Philippines is right in the thick of it! TrafficDito wants to ride this wave, using it as fuel to drive the idea of Pinoys helping fellow Pinoys, commuters helping fellow commuters.
We Filipinos love tweeting and ranting about traffic. TD makes use of this, taking something that people are already doing, repurposing it into something helpful and easy to interpret, and expanding its reach and potential to be of help to others. TD empowers those whose voices really matter when it comes to checking road conditions – people actually stuck in traffic.
Traffic in Metro Manila has become a massive headache for all of us. This is the main problem we want to address with TD. With the monumental task of taking on Manila traffic, the challenge was figuring out how to contribute an awesome solution with the less-than-awesome amount of resources we had.
This is why crowdsourcing fits so well with our goal of TD being like a helpful friend to our fellow commuters. We think that there are a lot of people who feel the same way about wanting to be of help to people on the road, it’s just that they probably just don’t have the means do so. This is a problem in itself, and it’s something TD addresses.
Comparisons to the MMDA app are expected, since we’re trying to help with the same problem. We get a lot of questions about how we can compete with their network of traffic monitors for example (though we do pull their reports as well), and our answer to that is… well, that we aren’t! TrafficDito is an alternative or even a complementary solution to traditional ways of checking traffic. Crowdsourcing isn’t perfect, but it definitely helps fill in gaps where other methods are lacking.
How many users does TrafficDito.com have right now?:
Our website helps over 6,000 visitors a month. Our iPhone app has around 2,000 downloads. After two and a half months, we’re still trying to build awareness and show them how TrafficDito can be of help. The goal is to give anyone a chance to be a live traffic reporter. The more people report, the more accurate TrafficDito becomes!
If you think about it though, since TD sorts through the Twitterverse for all traffic tweets for nearby areas, it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to imagine that our potential reporter base could be as big the metro’s tweeting population!
Share what’s the core technology used by the company:
We follow the generic recipe for many other start-ups. We rely on the cloud for serving up everything that you see. It was really great timing for us, too, since Amazon just opened up a data center in Singapore to provide a little additional speed to us in the Philippines, rather than having data requests travel back and forth across the Pacific.
We also tried out some of the newer technologies out there, just to get more experience with them and see if they’re something viable to use in bigger projects. For example, a popular NoSQL database known as MongoDB powers the whole website. We also built the entire app using the new iOS 5.0 SDK.
If your readers are interested in the design evolution of our app and and read behind-the-scenes insights into how we built everything, please check out our blog! We’ve got a number of engineering blog articles on it that share our own coders’ experiences that fellow Pinoy developers might find helpful.
Please share details of the founding team members:
We are a small, but scrappy, team. Unfortunately, most of our team members are suffering from identity crises. They believe they are a super secret clan of ninjas. So we prefer to remain in “stealth mode” for the time being and preserve that aura of mystery. The dev team, affectionately known as the “Nerd Herd,” built TrafficDito from the ground up. Check out our blog post featuring the team. Eventually, they will crawl out of their dev cave and we can only pray that they don’t explode when the sunlight hits them.
Aside from our ninja vampire devs, the rest of us do a little bit of product development, marketing, floor-sweeping, vacuuming, window-washing, and other various chores tasks to earn our keep around here. Alas, such is the life of a startup!
I also wanted to add that we look like supermodels, minus the supermodel faces and supermodel physique. And we smell like a cross between a juniper breeze and lemongrass sage.
Where do you see TrafficDito.com going in the future?
The most recent update to TrafficDito’s app brought things like the ability to tweet out your reports, automatic NB/SB detection, etc. We’ve got those details on our blog too. At the end of the day, we want nothing more than for TD to be helpful in any way that it can.
Because it’s our first app, and with the limited manpower and resources we’ve got, we’re waiting to see how things progress before introducing anything soon. What we can say though, is that from everything we’ve learned from TD, we’ve got our brains set to percolate, brewing any new ideas that may come our way!
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