Saturday, August 17, 2013

Loudoun County Uses Crowd Sourcing to Collect W&OD Trail Data

Bicyclists and pedestrians planning to use the Washington and Old Dominion Trail (W&OD) have a new online resource thanks to an innovative partnership between the Loudoun County Government and AOL.

As part of a company service project, more than two dozen AOL employees from the Dulles facility fanned out on bicycles along the W&OD in May.

Working with staff from the Loudoun County Office of Mapping and Geographic Information (OMAGI) and the W&OD Regional Park, the AOL employees used their cellphones to obtain GIS coordinates and photos of amenities, such as covered shelters, picnic tables and water fountains, and points of interests such as heritage signs, mile markers, and trail crossings. In all, about 270 data points were collected.

“This is the first time we’ve used crowd-sourcing – having members of the public collecting data – to add to the county’s data on public facilities,” said Larry Stipek, OMAGI Director. “We hope to expand the use of crowd-sourced data collection to enhance the geographic information available to the public.”

The map will be helpful to bicycle commuters and others who use the W&OD and helps spotlight the advantages of commuting by bicycle, said Judy Galen, Employer Outreach Specialist with the Department of Transportation & Capital Infrastructure.

The new W&OD map is available online at

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