It won’t be snowing today, but the Kansas Department of Transportation’s 511 Traveler Information Map (511.ksdot.org) may look like a blizzard is covering the state.
The 511 Map will undergo a live simulation test beginning today to test its ability to handle information requests when the entire state highway system has snow and ice conditions. During the test, all the highways on the map will display colors simulating snow and ice conditions. KDOT staff will then use special software to bombard the site with thousands of information requests in a short time to identify the stress point at which the map’s performance slows or stops.
The test will be repeated on each Friday this month: Aug. 5, Aug. 12, Aug. 19 and Aug. 26.
During the test, information about road work activities and incidents will be real but may not display as the stress point is approached. Users can turn off the snow and ice condition colors by un-checking “Roadway Weather Conditions” in the legend on the left side of the map. The real highway information will be available in the “Driving Conditions List” and will be listed separately from the simulated snow and ice conditions.
While the 511 Map is being tested, the test weather information will also be reported on the 511 phone system. Travelers who call the 511 system will be informed of the test and test reporting of road conditions by an introductory message. KDOT anticipates the highways to have normal, seasonal driving conditions during the test period, which may include wet pavement. Current road work activities and incidents will be reported on 511 as these reports will not be affected by the test. Travelers can access the 511 phone system by calling 5-1-1 from anywhere in Kansas or 1-866-511-KDOT (5368) from anywhere in the U.S.