Cal-FRED: The Online California Freight Data Repository

Overview

The Online California Freight Data Repository (Cal-FRED) contains a compilation of a number of freight-related data sources. These data sources are provided on an accessible web-based environment to facilitate freight modeling and analysis at the state level.

Data Source Query

The Data Source Query allows the user to access all the raw data tables for a core set of data sources found to be most relevant for California statewide freight modeling and analysis. The data ranges from national to local sources, for any year that is available (mostly ranging from 2002 - 2007, the last two benchmark years for several economic data sources). The data sources available for download in multiple file formats.

Time Series Analysis

The Time Series Analysis tool provides the ability to analysis time-series trends within datasources at user-defined geographical aggregation levels

Spatial Analysis

The Spatial Analysis tool allows a user to visualize the data using color scales at a spatial level by associating spatial data with their corresponding GIS shape data overlaid on the Google Maps interface.

External Data Sources

In addition to the core 18 data sources, external links to 55 other public data sources are also available. These data sources were not selected as core data sources either because they share similarities to one of the core data sources or because they are already easily accessible from their own websites.

FREDDY Search

A customized Freight Data Search engine was also built for the repository for searching of information beyond the scope of the core data sources and the external source links. The search engine, code-named FREDDY, is a Google search engine that puts higher priority to California freight-related websites.

Developed by: Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Irvine. 2642 visitors since Sep 30 2010. Last updated on Nov 15 2010.
Best viewed using Mozilla Firefox 3.X or Google Chrome Internet browsers. Internet Explorer users may experience poor performance with Google Maps-based interfaces.
Data Sources

Data Tables
Associated Data Lookups

Data Source Description

Select desired dictionary to view details

Aggregation
Data Source
Category
Field
Location

Period
Chart Options:
Aggregation
Data Source
Category
Field
Period
Location Value

External Data Sources

Geographical Scope
Text Filter

Description Data Type

Text Filter

Description Data Source Data Type

Freight Data Repository User's Guide

Overview

Introduction

This document is a user's guide to accessing and making full use of the Cal-FRED: The Online California Freight Data Repository from the California Department of Transportation. The web site contains a compilation of a number of freight-related data sources. These data sources are provided on an accessible web-based environment to facilitate freight modeling and analysis at the state level.

The repository is divided into several sections that can be accessed via the tabs on the top of the screen.

The tabs are:

  • Home
  • Data Source Query
  • Time Series Analysis
  • Spatial Analysis
  • External Data Sources
  • FREDDY Search
  • User's Guide
  • Contact

Clicking on a tab will open up that tab. Clicking on the pull-down arrow will open up a list of options that can be chosen. The interface is dynamic, so that certain fields will populate based on the choice made in another field. For example, the choice of Data Tables in the first screenshot would depend on what Data Source is chosen.

System Requirements

The Cal-FRED: The Online California Freight Data Repository is designed to run on most systems running one of the following Internet browers:

  • Mozilla Firefox V3 and V3.5
  • Safari v4
  • Chrome v3 (Recommended)
  • Internet Explorer 6, 7 and 8 (Runs slow)

Data Source Query

The Data Source Query allows the user to access all the raw data tables for a core set of data sources found to be most relevant for California state-wide freight modeling and analysis. The data ranges from national to local sources, for any year that is available (mostly ranging from 2002 - 2007, the last two benchmark years for several economic data sources).

A list of the 18 different data sources available for download in either tab-delimited, CSV or HTML formats. Data dictionaries and lookup tables which provide definitions for fields and data found in each data source can also be downloaded through the Data Source Query.

Selecting the Table or Data Dictionary

After choosing a Data Source, the user can choose a specific table from the source to download, and also do the same for the Associated Data Dictionary and Lookup. The screenshot below shows an example with Border Crossings Data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Note that there is a brief description of each data source provided at the bottom of the interface as well.

Downloading Data

After selecting the data table or dictionary, the user can click on Request Data to download the requested item. A window will pop up like the screenshot below shows.

Note: By default, all the downloaded data are given pre-determined filenames and downloaded to the default download folder as configured in the user's Internet browser. Most common Internet browsers such as Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome can be configured to allow users to modify the location of the download or rename the file at the time of download. Please consult your respective browser guides for instructions on how these configuration modifications can be performed if desired.

Time Series Analysis

The Time-Series Analysis module allows users to observe trends in data using graphical representations. The data fields available for time-series analysis are hierarchically organized by geographical aggregation and data source in the user input panel as shown in the screenshot below.

Performing a Time Series Analysis

First the user selects the desired geographical aggregation level from the Aggregation selection. This could be at the County or other zonal level.

After the Aggregation has been selected, the data source selection and location selections are enabled. An interactive Google Maps interface showing colored location polygons is also displayed.

The desired location can be chosen by either selecting from the location pull-down or by clicking on the desired location displayed on the interactive Google Maps interface.

Results are displayed when all four selections - Aggregation, Data Source, Field and Location - are filled. Results are displayed in two formats in the Time-Series Analysis module: an interactive text-based table and an interactive chart.

The text results can be downloaded by clicking on the "Download Data" button located at the bottom of the interactive table.

Four options are available for selection of the desired file format: Tab-delimited, comma separated values (csv), hypertext markup language (html) and JavaScript Object Notation (Json).

Map Display Options

Major Truck Routes

The Major Truck Routes option displays a network overlay of freeways and highways used for freight movements in the State of California.

Major Rail Lines

The Major Rail Lines option displays a network overlay of major rail lines used for freight movements in the State of California.

Sea Ports

The Sea Ports option displays the location of each major sea port in the State of California as a ship icon. Placing the mouse cursor over each port will trigger a tooltip display that shows the port name.

Airports

The Airports option displays the location of each major airport in the State of California as a plane icon. Placing the mouse cursor over each airport will trigger a tooltip display that shows the airport name.

Chart Options

The Chart Options selection provides three different methods of displaying the time-series results: Actual Values, Change Between Periods and Percentage Change Between Periods.

Actual Values

The Actual Values option displays the actual time-series values of the selected field on an interactive histogram (vertical bar) chart. Clicking on a bar reveals the data value for the corresponding time period.

Change Between Periods

The Change Between Periods option displays the change in values between adjacent time periods on an interactive line chart. Clicking on a marker reveals the value change between the corresponding time periods.

Percentage Change Between Periods

The Percentage Change Between Periods option displays the percentage change in values between adjacent time periods on an interactive line chart. Clicking on a marker reveals the percentage change between the corresponding time periods.

Spatial Analysis

The Spatial Analysis tools allows a user to visualize the data using color scales at a spatial level by associating spatial data with their corresponding GIS shape data overlaid on the Google Maps interface.

Performing a Spatial Analysis

First the user selects the desired geographical aggregation level from the Aggregation selection. This could be at the County or other zonal level.

Next, select a single data source from the Data Source selection from which to visualize the data on the Google Maps. Upon selecting a Data Source, a data Field, and a time Period to represent, the Google Map interface will thematically shade each zone from smallest to largest Field value a range of colorless to vivid red. Regions or locations with no data values are shaded in grey.

Map Display Options

Major Truck Routes

The Major Truck Routes option displays a network overlay of freeways and highways used for freight movements in the State of California.

Major Rail Lines

The Major Rail Lines option displays a network overlay of major rail lines used for freight movements in the State of California.

Sea Ports

The Sea Ports option displays the location of each major sea port in the State of California as a ship icon. Placing the mouse cursor over each port will trigger a tooltip display that shows the port name.

Airports

The Airports option displays the location of each major airport in the State of California as a plane icon. Placing the mouse cursor over each airport will trigger a tooltip display that shows the airport name.

Log scaling of values

Log scaling of values performs a logarithmic tranformation of data values prior to the conversion to the color scales.

By default, the Log scaling of values toggle is on. This option generally improves the spread of colors shown on the map.

External Data Sources

The External Data Sources Module provides information on data sources that are not available directly from the Freight Data Repository. The data sources are divided in two categories: public and private data sources, organized in tabs on the left of the interface.

External Public Data Sources

External public data sources are organized by their geographical scope into four categories: National Data Sources, California Data Sources, MPO Data Sources and Intermodal Facility Data Sources. Each data set is linked to an external URL where the data can be obtained. Description of each data set is automatically displayed as the user places the mouse cursor over the row within the interactive table of results corresponding to the data set.

A text filter search tool is provided to query the list of relevant data sets corresponding to the user's search entry.

External Private Data Sources

A list of private data sources is provided in this sub-module. A text filter search tool is also provided here to query the list of relevant data sets corresponding to the user's search entry.

FREDDY Search

As part of the task to propose novel methods of acquiring data from the internet and identifying new technologies, a custom search engine was developed using Google technology. Google allows users to customize their searches based on priorities given to particular links and keywords. The custom search engine, called FREDDY, incorporates 45 websites from around the country related to freight and goods movement. The full list of websites is included in Appendix 11.5 of the report. Search results can be cleared by clicking on the "Reset Freight Data Search" button located on the top left corner of the interface.

Development

The California Online Freight Data Repository (Cal-FRED) was designed and developed by the Institute of Transportation Studies at University of California, Irvine with support from the Calfornia Department of Transportation.

Technical Support

For questions regarding Cal-FRED, please contact the Cal-FRED development team at ytok@uci.edu.