PETRAPro: NEW/IMPROVED FEATURES
PETRAPro uses the latest in software programming techniques to provide you the optimum user experience. One area where this is evident is the file handling of the program. PETRA for Windows used temporary work files, so that any time you opened a data file, six other temporary files were opened and remained open until you closed the file. PETRAPro eliminates this additional overhead by doing all work within one file.
Development on PETRA for Windows began in the mid-1990s and the program was officially released in 1998. Since that time, many changes have been made in software programming that allows today's programs to be more efficient and faster than their predecessors. In addition to the file handling improvements, the overall speed and stability of PETRAPro has been improved from PETRA.
Graphical User Interface
PETRAPro provides a new Main interface screen that contains shortcut links to some of the program's most used features. This graphical interface allows you to quickly and easily access download, file open, and preferences screens, as well as several others.
TDC Ultra Support
PETRAPro contains support for the new 'enhanced turning movement' studies that can be performed using the new TDC Ultra data collector. With this data collector you can record a full range of turning movements for up to 14 separate classes of vehicles. PETRAPro will provide you with overall totals as well as a breakdown of each class. PETRAPro also supports the new time-stamp raw data studies that can be done using the TDC Ultra.
The TDC Ultra replaces the older TDC-12 model of traffic data collector. The new TDC Ultra is the single most powerful hand-held traffic data collector in the world today. Not only does it provide all the features of the old TDC-12, it adds to them, creating the most versatile traffic data collection tool currently available.
The following studies can be done with the TDC Ultra and processed using PETRAPro:
Enhanced Turning Movements
The TDC Ultra gives you the ability to store turning movements for up to 14 classes of vehicles.
Vehicles can be classified based on the Federal Highway Administration’s standards, or by a user defined scheme of up to 14 classes. This is accomplished by the addition of 14 class buttons at the bottom of the data collector. You also are given several options on how to record the data with these keys.
Roundabout Turning Movements
One of the more popular new developments in traffic engineering is the implementation of modern roundabouts. PETRAPro gives you a way to effectively present roundabout turning movement data gathered with a TDC Ultra at these types of intersections.
Time-Stamped Raw Data
Is there a specific type of data collection that you would like to do that the data collectors don’t? Don’t let this stop you from getting your data, just use the TDC Ultra’s time-stamping capability. In this mode, whenever a key is pressed the unit stores the key number and the exact time it was pressed. Each key press is stored with a time stamp accurate to one-hundredth (.01) of a second. This raw data can be downloaded and exported into Excel or other programs for custom analysis. Now you can do literally any type of data collection using a TDC Ultra and your own program.
Stop Sign Delay
Accurately record queue lengths and vehicle delays at a stop sign controlled intersection. Data can be collected for one or two lanes using just two or four keys. Can also be used at low volume signalized intersections.
Signalized Intersection Delay
Collect data that can be analyzed for several delay parameters. This data collection uses well known traffic engineering techniques to gather usable data in a matter of minutes.
Perform classification studies with up to 16 different classes for 1, 2 or 3 directions. Classes can be user defined or based on FHWA standards.
Spot Speed with Classification
Get a quick snap shot of vehicle speeds without having to install an automatic traffic recorder. Studies can be for speed only, or speed by vehicle classification.
Measure traffic gaps in one direction, or two directions with a combined gap. You can also record vehicle volumes while tracking gaps.
Don't rely on estimates when doing analysis. The TDC Ultra allows you to directly measure actual saturation flow rates, and also collect data for signal timings, arrival types and lost time.
The new Approach Wizard in PETRAPro allows you to quickly and easily modify the approach information for a file. In PETRA for Windows, creating a 5 or 3 legged intersection required deleting multiple columns of data and adjusting the intersection design. The new Approach Wizard lets you make these changes with one click of the mouse. In addition, you can use the Approach Wizard to delete sets of movements, change the order of approaches and rotate the data.
All of the options available in the Approach Wizard are designed to make working with your data easier, and let you get the job done quicker. Watch Approach Wizard Video
Attach Digital Photos
With PETRA for Windows there were a number of ways to show how the intersection looked where the data was collected. With PETRAPro you can take this one step further by attaching a digital photograph of the intersection to the data file itself. The digital photo could be a line-of-sight photo, or even an aerial photo to give a bird’s eye view of the intersection. Whichever format you choose, the photo can then be included with the reports you generate.
To add a photo to your file, you click the Camera icon in the toolbar on the Intersection Design screen. This will open the Select Image to Attach window which can be used to select the file you want to attached. Images can be in any of the following formats: Windows bitmap (.bmp), JPEG (.jpg), Windows Metafile (.wmf), Enhanced Metafile (.emf) or GIF (.gif).
There are two ways you can attach a photo, Embed or Link.
The Embed option adds a copy of the photo to your data file (making the file larger). The Link option only adds a link to where the file is currently stored on your computer. In general, the embed option should be used if you will be sending the data files to other people while the link option should be used if the files will always be on your computer (and the location of the digital photos won't change). Whichever option you select, the photo can be included when you produce your report.
GPS Support and On-Line Mapping Support
With PETRAPro, you can now store GPS coordinates from where the data was collected in the header of the data file. If you have this information stored in a file, you can then directly access the free web based mapping applications Google Earth and Windows Live Local. Watch GPS Support Video
The Intersection Design in PETRA for Windows basically allowed you to configure the lanes of traffic approaching the intersection. With PETRAPro you can enhance this design by placing graphical icons on the intersection. These icons include lane markings, street signs, control devices and data collection locations. You can also add text information to the design. The icon view of the Intersection Design can be used to add graphics to your intersection. Any of the icons can be placed on the intersection by clicking and dragging them.
Whenever you have an icon selected, four items in the toolbar become active: the Delete, Rotate, Reduce and Enlarge icons. These can be used to change how the icon looks. You also have the ability to create your own icons using any of your own graphic files.
In addition to the graphical icons, you can also add a text box icon to the intersection if you want to include a text message. To do this, click on the Notepad icon in the toolbar. You can move the text box around just like any of the other icons. To enter text, double click on the box and a cursor will appear.
Include Logos with Reports
Reports that are generated by PETRAPro can be uniquely customized as your own by adding a graphical logo to the top. This logo can be used in conjunction with the report's titles or as a replacement for the titles altogether. The logo can be placed to the left, right, or center of the report pages for added impact. The logo can be in a variety of formats, including JPEG, bitmap and GIF. Once a logo has been added, a few additional options appear on the screen. The Save Logo Option allows you to decide if the entire logo will be stored with the file or if just a link to the logo's location will be stored.
One common request from PETRA users was for the ability to calculate truck percentages. We listened to this request and made this option one of the main new features of the program. With PETRAPro, you can produce a report that will total the overall data from different groups, then give you a breakdown of what percentage each group was of the overall data. This is just one of the many features added specifically as the result of feedback from PETRA for Windows users.
The improved peak information provides more information and presents it in an easier to understand format. Unlike PETRA for Windows, the entire peak hour of data is shown in the peak report, and peak hour factors (PHFs) are provided for every movement. Peak volumes can also be analyzed by group, with the percentage of each group (like trucks) shown for every movement. The first line of the analysis says ‘Peak Hour From’ and lists the start and end time that was picked for the analysis. It also lists whether one or more peaks are being looked for in this time period. The second line lists whether the analysis is for the Entire Intersection or By Approach and lists the actual starting time of the peak hour.
The next four lines list the actual volumes for the peak hour, with the high interval volume of each column in bold. This is followed by each movement's total volume for the peak hour, and what percentage it is of the approach.
The next line list the PHF, or Peak Hour Factor, for each column of data. Following the PHF information is optional group breakdown information. If this option is selected, this area will show the peak volumes on a group by group basis, as well as a percentage breakdown. In addition to the spreadsheet data, the plot of the peak data has also been improved. Multiple groups can be shown in the plot, and additional labeling has also been added.
The new Report Auto-fit option allows the program to automatically adjust font sizes in the report to provide the cleanest, most professional report possible. This option, which was a popular request of PETRA for Windows users, saves the time of manually having to adjust font sizes and print margins to make the reports look their best.
PDF Report Output
In addition to the standard ability to print reports, reports that are generated by PETRAPro can be directly output electronically to an Adobe PDF format. All report options, including graphs, intersection diagrams and more are fully supported in the PDF format. With this option you can eliminate the need to mail or fax report information by providing it through e-mail or on the Internet.