FreewayTimes – Overview

Overview

The FreewayTimes gadget polls the VicRoads Traffic website and displays the travel time information for the selected freeway every 5 minutes.

This is an updated version of the gadget which has been made to work with the new improved VicRoads Traffic monitoring web site. The gadget continues to include all those features you know and loved including:

  • Improved network handling code
  • Improved settings page
  • New interface
  • Ability to force a refresh
  • Ability to change direction
  • Display of update time

In addition, new to version 1.3:

  • Added Eastlink and the Calder fwy’s

The gadget allows users to configure the following:

  • A freeway they wish to see the traffic information from
  • an AM and PM Direction, which is automatically displayed for ‘at a glance’ traffic times. The direction changes automatically at 12:00am / 12:00pm

Check settings

When the gadget is first installed, the gadget will show ‘Check Settings’ meaning that no freeway or directions have been set up.

To set up the gadget, move the mouse over the gadget and click on the small spanner icon to display the settings screen.

Automatic Updates

Each time a new version of the gadget is released a message will be displayed at the bottom of the settings dialog and contain a link. The gadget will not self update, you will need to open the link, close the gadget in the sidebar, then install the new gadget again.

Clicking on the gadget

There are two areas of the gadget you can click on:

1. The time

Clicking on the time will cause the gadget to refresh it’s data, the 5 minute delay will reset from when you click.

2. The direction

Clicking on the direction will cause the gadget to change the direction for the chosen freeway and retrieve the relevant data. When you change the direction, two things need to be taken into account:

  • The 5 minute update timer will be reset
  • The new direction may be changed at 12:00 when the AM / PM Direction change kicks in

Network improvements

The network code in the gadget has been improved significantly. The gadget by default will poll the VicRoads data every 5 minutes. If a response isn’t recieved in 15 seconds, the gadget will kill off the connection and set an error condition.  Once the gadget errors, it will poll every minute until a response is received.

Copyright

All data used in this gadget is copyrighted and owned by VicRoads and used under the terms and conditions outlined here.

Future enhancements

There are a number of future enhancements that I have been considering, but still havn’t had the time to implement, including:

  • Exponential backoff of server error poll
  • Addition of traffic alerts / scrolling info
  • Addition of other roads
  • Ability to choose on and off ramps.

If there is a feature you would like to see, drop me a line at gadgets@blurg.net.

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