Object Catalog for Road and Traffic Networks (OKSTRA®)
The existent road network in Germany is analyzed regularly to sustain a traffic flow meeting prevailing requirements. For this purpose, data on traffic, conditions, the environment, accidents and profitability are acquired continuously. These data are analyzed in order to identify deficiencies in the road network. The deficiencies are eliminated by means of appropriate measures (rebuilding, maintenance or administration).
The processes necessary for administration and construction of federal trunk roads (data acquisition, analysis, measures) form a closed sequence (see the illustration):
The individual processes, for instance of rebuilding (including pre-planning, design planning, execution planning) are now supported by IT applications. These applications pose two fundamental problems.
- During a transfer of information from one process to the next: The programs implement the necessary information in differing structures. As a consequence, a program's output for the next process often still needs to be prepared manually in a tedious procedure or re-digitized.
- During a transfer of information between various programs forming part of a process (e.g. between design programs): Data obtained by engineering offices cannot always be processed further by administrative authorities because the software they purchased implements different structures to store information.
These problems can be solved by standardizing the information to be exchanged. All processes, for instance all involved IT routines must use identical names and structures for information. This information is saved in objects. These objects represent real-life ones which can be seen, described, measured and used. An object can be a road, tree, traffic sign, fence, axle or network node.
One research project is used to analyze the involved processes, define the information (objects) to be exchanged and save it in a catalog (OKSTRA®). OKSTRA has been introduced as a nationwide standard by the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development. Many software manufacturers now integrate OKSTRA definitions into their software to allow a loss-free exchange of road data. A special centre has been established for updating OKSTRA.