For networks that want to show localised information on their screens, there’s no shortage of material, thanks largely to the plethora of Web services holding data on everything from cinema programmes to pharmacy hours.
But for a digital out-of-home operator or other media channel present in multiple countries, actually licensing that information from numerous providers can be a chore. However, there are a few providers of local data that – like weather forecaster Accuweather – take a far from parochial view, and now another has joined their ranks: U.S. firm Inrix, which has started to offer traffic updates for 18 European nations as well as news from North America’s roads.
Data from France’s Infotraffic is used to generate maps which Inrix will deliver to out-of-home networks for incorporation in their content. The western and central European countries covered are Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, joining the U.S. and Canada on Inrix’s feeds.
It’s not the first time that such European information has been available for DOOH networks. Indeed, Infotraffic itself provides it to around 500 public screens in France, as well as online and via mobiles. But what’s unusual is that while geographically broad-based data such as currency exchange rates is easily available for multiple countries, this kind of real-time local detail is less often aggregated.
Does that mean we’re going to see a lot more detailed traffic info on our out-of-home displays? “Road traffic has become unavoidably essential information for any public screen,” said Jérôme Lefevre, Infotraffic’s founder. “Demand is increasingly strong, daily in big cities but also in places where driving can be difficult in times of bad weather, industrial action or public gatherings.
“There is no miracle solution to avoid jams,” he added, “but the more drivers are informed in real time on the state of the roads, the less stressed they become and the more effective they are in making the right decision.”