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Public Roads - May/Jun 2008

May/Jun 2008
Issue No:
Vol. 71 No. 6
Publication Number:
Table of Contents

Internet Watch

The Indispensable Little Book

by Brittany Boughter

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) ITS/Operations Resource Guide 2007, which is available online, offers a comprehensive listing of more than 500 documents, videos, Web sites, training courses, software tools, and points of contact related to intelligent transportation systems (ITS) and transportation operations strategies. Accessible at, the guide is a searchable database version of the annually printed ITS/Operations Resource Guide, maintained by USDOT’s ITS Joint Program Office (JPO). The site was created in spring 2001 to provide easy access to ITS information for Federal, State, regional, and local transportation professionals; researchers; academia; and other transportation practitioners.

FHWA ITS/Operations Resource Guide Web site screen shot.
The FHWA “ITS/Operations Resource Guide” Web site.

The resource guide is in its seventh year of publication. Although the book is published annually, the Web site is updated twice a year. The 2008 print version will be released in time for distribution at the 15th World Congress on ITS in New York, NY, from November 16–20, 2008.  For the first time, resources on Safe and Efficient Travel through Innovation and Partnerships for the 21st Century (SafeTrip-21), a first-phase demonstration of the capabilities of Vehicle Infrastructure Integration (VII), will be included in the book and unveiled at the congress.


“One of the guide’s most useful aspects is its encyclopedic nature, in that it reports on resources related to more than 40 different topics on transportation and ITS,” says Susan Slye, a transportation specialist with the ITS JPO. The latest edition of the resource guide includes topics such as transportation management centers, road weather management, VII, and ITS standards. The online version features an updated search engine for easier navigation.

In particular, the guide now offers a chapter on “Intelligent Safety Systems,” which describes a new course available from the National Highway Institute (NHI) called Improving Highway Safety with ITS (FHWA-NHI-137044). Another chapter, “Arterial Operations and Traffic Control Systems,” includes documents, Web sites, and a video related to access management. And the chapter “Traffic Incident Management” contains documents and Web sites related to planned special events.

The guide also includes documents and Web sites related to commercial vehicle operations, including safety and security product guides and a Web site designed to help partners involved with commercial vehicle information systems and networks apply for Federal funds. Site visitors also have access to documents relating to various aspects of traveler information, including the national traveler information number 511.


“Resources are grouped by topic area, but the guide isn’t merely a list of links, with only titles and Web addresses,” adds Slye. “Each resource is profiled with a short paragraph describing what it is, why it’s important, and why one might want it.”

In addition, each section begins with a list of USDOT points of contact, so readers can contact personnel directly with any questions regarding the subject matter. “I use the resource guide as my Federal phonebook, to find out who at USDOT can help me with a particular topic,” says Slye.

Course Catalog

The ITS/Operations Resource Guide 2007 also provides information on training courses, workshops, and online seminars. The training section starts off with relevant points of contact and a link to the ITS JPO’s “ITS Professional Capacity Building Program” Web site ( The remainder of the chapter lists specific ITS training opportunities on topics such as regional architecture development, systems security, and staffing.

One example of training resources discussed in the guide is JPO’s Talking Technology and Transportation (T3) program. T3 offers interactive Web-based training that covers a range of topics, including procurement, telecommunications, and systems engineering. The guide also provides information on courses offered by NHI, the National Transit Institute, and other USDOT departments.

“Wherever we go, we receive positive feedback on the site,” says Slye. “The printed version of the guide has been called ‘the indispensable little book,’ and in fact, because of its popularity, this is the only site that we reproduce in print every year.”

To download a copy of the ITS/Operations Resource Guide 2007, please visit For more information, go to JPO’s “ITS/Operations Resource Guide” Web site at or contact Susan Slye  at 202–366–1068 or

Brittany Boughter is a contributing editor for Public Roads.