September 12, 2023 -- Toronto -- Ecopia AI (Ecopia) today announces the company was selected to provide detailed transportation features for the Arizona Sun Cloud, a collaboratively managed open data portal for Arizona’s Sun Corridor megaregion.
The new data portal, just finalized this summer, provides interactive maps and built-in tools to assess the connections between the map’s various data layers, plus the ability to add customized scoring weights to prioritize municipal planning efforts. The newly released features offer standardized information to help communities promote equity, safety, active mobility and more.
Representing Cochise, Maricopa, Pima, Pinal, and Santa Cruz counties, Arizona’s Sun Corridor is home to about 85% of Arizona’s residents. The megaregion’s population of 6.3 million people is expected to increase another 40% by 2050. Such rapid growth produces complex challenges in community planning that require geospatial analysis, particularly when it comes to transportation.
Not only is there an increased demand and strain on current transportation infrastructure, but many communities are pursuing active transportation plans with equity and safety goals. These initiatives are especially challenging for small and medium-sized communities with limited staff who lack the resources to create the data needed to augment these workflows with geospatial analysis.
To address the need for comprehensive, accurate, and up-to-date data for their individual communities, the five megaregion counties worked together over the last few years to leverage funding for geospatial resources from a Federal Highways Administration (FHWA) AID Grant. These efforts ultimately produced the Arizona Sun Cloud, which was released in July 2023. The open data portal provides access to authoritative transportation and socioeconomic data throughout the 31,000+ square mile area. This collaborative effort empowers communities large and small to make data-driven urban design and infrastructure planning decisions and better serve their residents.
“Ecopia is proud to support the Arizona Sun Cloud initiative by providing fundamental transportation feature data for critical mapping projects,” said Sean Lowery, Senior Director of Business and Product Development at Ecopia. “This is an awesome example of how regional agencies can work together to make geospatial data accessible to other departments and jurisdictions that need it, and we look forward to seeing the continued innovation in community planning that Sun Cloud is supporting throughout the Sun Corridor.”
Among the datasets provided to public sector organizations via the Sun Cloud are Ecopia’s sidewalk, bike lane, and traffic median map layers, including details related to width and vegetation.
Ecopia’s artificial intelligence (AI)-based mapping systems efficiently extract high-precision vector features from orthoimagery and classify it into categories, delivering the GIS-professional quality data needed for urban planning at speeds that enable communities to scale their analysis and stay up-to-date in a dynamically changing world.
“The transportation data from Ecopia is an integral part of Sun Cloud, and we are thrilled to provide such high quality data in a much more efficient manner to the many government organizations within the Sun Corridor megaregion,” said Mead Mier, Planning Manager at Pima Association of Governments. “The ability for planners in urban, suburban, and rural areas to access this critical, up-to-date information about our existing infrastructure and communities will help them to develop even better data-driven plans for enhancing sustainability, mobility, and livability as the landscape changes.”