Case Study: LACMTA Large Format Graphic Design Project

Overview

LACMTA and RIITS required travel-related dynamic graphics, real-time schedules, animations, and integrated maps for use on screens at Metro HQ, Metrolink stations and at Burbank Airport. Widget design was required to add functionality and the CMS systems (Scala and Xibo) required refactoring. The result was a coordinated, ADA compliant traveler information system that includes dynamic way finding, dynamic maps with WAZE integration, and real-time schedules, alerts, CCT camera feeds for LADOT, events and Twitter feed.

Business Challenge

The current platform in RIITS was in transition and unfinished. Migration to Azure had been started but was also incomplete. Technology gaps existed and the CMS was not functioning properly due to unresolved template issues. The creation and integration of the desired dynamic graphic and real-time data integration would require a ground-up approach, utilizing enterprise software investment and filling technology gaps created by fractured and unfinished infrastructure. In addition, the technology and graphics to be created and integrated would be utilized by RIITS, LASAFE (Go511), and there was no current design standard created for large format and dynamic graphics.

Approach

  • Aescit conducted a platform, system and tool assessment to find gaps in technology.
  • Meetings with stakeholders yielded a roadmap for successful completion of tasks required to provide the architecture, design, implementation and support for the desired work. All work proposed to meet the contract goals included utilizing current platforms, modernizing and modifying technology as opposed to replacing current enterprise solutions. Additionally, attention was paid to avoiding duplication of API’s that would eventually require support and maintenance, raising costs in the long-term and requiring additional funding.
  • A Project schedule was created by the Aescit Project Manager, including projects, tasks and benchmarks. Hours estimates was provided for each task, in order to track expenses and stay below the total budget allotted for each project.
  • Once the project and design plan were submitted and approved, Aescit Technology team began the process of working with current architecture design firm, Parsons, to collaborate regarding resolution of technology gaps that would impede the success of the LFGD project. CMS refactoring, design of a functional admin panel, creation of a ELK solution and migration to Azure were a few of tasks completed to resolve integration and functionality issues.
  • A plan was created to complete all widgets for dynamic way finding, dynamic maps with WAZE integration, and real-time schedules, alerts, events and Twitter feed. The widget design and modification project became the centerpiece of the contract.
  • When the tasks above were completing, the Media Arts design team commenced work to create design standards for RIITS/LA SAFE/Go511. After this project was completed, started design of missing transportation icons, animations, and way-finding graphics.
  • As widgets were completed, data was pulled from API’s such as Metro Cloud Alliance and dynamic graphics were integrated. Real-time travel events, alerts, CCTY camera feed and events were tested and moved to production for integration in digital signage and as Web content. WAZE map integration was also completed by the Aescit team.
  • At all times during this contract and all projects and tasks completed, the Aescit team provided 24/7/365 support to LACMTA and RIITS.

Outcomes

The data-driven approach to large format graphics combined schedules, alerts, GEO, and CCTV inputs into user-friendly and ADA compliant dynamic digital signage and Web content, as illustrated in samples, below.

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