The economy of the province of Quebec heavily depends on its transportation infrastructures. Decision-makers must have access to data that will support the analysis of the transportation networks’ performance and reliability. To that end, the Quebec Ministry of Transportation (Transports Québec) conducts several data compilations (e.g. trucking studies, origin-destination surveys) to have a better knowledge of transportation activities and flows, so to identify the main issues and intervention priorities.
Unfortunately, as soon as the results of the studies are published, ad-hoc queries are addressed to the analysts, that require them to produce maps and tables based on new data characteristics, which were not presented in the original publications.
In order to facilitate the production of studies and to allow for interactive exploration of the data, the Ministry has implemented a Spatial OLAP (SOLAP) application. Since 2008, the data analyses in marine transportation are performed using this application. Decision-makers can now easily obtain the general portrait of transportation flows. While the previously published study of freight transportation on the St.Lawrence River limited users to approximately a hundred maps and tables, this application has a cartographic potential of more than 200 000 maps, at different levels of detail.
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The application, based on Map4Decision,can be used to answer questions such as:
- How many tons of freight are shipped from the Port de Montreal to the Asian market, over the last 5 years?
- What are the main categories of goods unloaded in Quebec, shipped from the major ports in the U.S.A.?
- What is the variation in the exchange of goods shipped to the international market over the last 5 years?
Global aggregate analyses are also rapidly available, such as:
- A comparison of the amount of freight leaving all individual ports, regardless of destination.
- The principal categories of goods, loaded or unloaded, for each market.