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Reporter geotracked by paper for congestion story

A regional daily has used geotracking to follow one of its reporters as she endured road works which have caused gridlock for angry commuters.

The Manchester Evening news sent reporter Pamela Welsh to experience the problems caused by new road works affecting drivers travelling into Manchester City Centre from Salford.

After hearing about the gridlock being caused, the paper decided she should travel along the worst-affected route during the morning rush hour.

Rather than wait for Pamela to finish driving through the road works to file her piece, they decided to allow readers to follow her progress by geotracking her Nokia N8 phone and posting updates on a live blog showing her exact location on a map generated by Google Latitude, pictured below.

Manchester Evening News - geotracking

Paul Gallagher, head of online content, said: “The map highlighted the fact that what should have been a 20 minute journey ended up taking over an hour.

“It showed how her car was barely moving during the final stretch of the journey as it hit the road works.

“We also called Pamela, on her hands-free of course, so she could give short updates of the latest situation on the road which were also fed into the live blog.

“It’s the first time we have tracked a reporter’s location by their mobile phone for a story, and we are planning to do it again with a couple of other stories coming up.”

The road works are being carried out to make Chapel Street in Salford more ‘pedestrian friendly’ by removing two traffic lanes and cutting the speed limit but they have caused four-mile tailbacks for motorists.

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  • March 24, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    Yawn, cutting edge journalism. Another reason to not buy the MEN, does the reader really want to know how long a journey takes? Live blog on being stuck in traffic!! How interesting.

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