Location ToolIncident Location Tool

screen showing map in Location Tool

User's Manual (pdf)

Related links

Iowa Department of Transportation

DOT National Model

TraCS - Traffic and Criminal Software


In 1998, CTRE began development of an automated system designed for both in-house and in-field collection of crash location information. Central to this system was a map-based graphical user interface (GUI) designed around geographic information system (GIS) technology.

The Incident Location Tool was designed to be a stand-alone component used to process paper crash reports, and to be a component capable of integration with other software packages. The modular nature of the Incident Location Tool allowed for the integration with the Iowa DOT's electronic data collection software Advantage Safety. The benefits of GIS technology coupled with the ease of using a GUI-based application customized for a specific task led to a desire for research regarding other potential uses of this technology.


The Incident Location Tool was developed using Microsoft's Component Object Model (COM) technology. The COM architecture allows for the integration of any COM object with other COM-based components. This feature allows for a multitude of database interfaces and user interface configurations.

The flexible nature of the Incident Location Tool allowed for different applications to be built around the core spatial databases. This meant that while the underlying map databases can remain the same, the types of data collected from the maps can vary and the rules validating collected data could be changed.

The output from the Incident Location Tool is a fixed-width text string compatible with any ODBC-database or output to an ASCII flat-file. All that is necessary is the design and development of the appropriate client for the tool, supporting the necessary database/flat-file interface. In most cases such a client object already exists from third-party vendors allowing rapid application development and deployment of Incident Location Tool alternatives. Further development would be required if additional rules validating collected data are necessary, or additional data need collection from the user.

The Incident Location Tool spatial databases, as developed, contain the following information:

While system databases are not limited to these files, the aforementioned databases were the basis for consideration of other potential applications of the Incident Location Tool.

CTRE is an Iowa State University center.

Address: 2711 S. Loop Drive, Suite 4700, Ames, IA 50010-8664

Phone: 515-294-8103
FAX: 515-294-0467

CTRE Communications: Marcia Brink
CTRE Webmaster: Michele Regenold

Website: www.ctre.iastate.edu/

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