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Aspire-built site wins award

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SA's Aspire solutions helped Dutch client ANWB win in the weather and traffic category at Holland's annual Web site of the Year awards, beating out competition that included Google Maps.

The award ceremony, based on more than 864 000 votes received from members of the public, was held in Amsterdam on 14 November.

Over 50% of Dutch adults are members of ANWB, an affiliate of the global Automobile Association, says Aspire MD Mike Steyn. "It's a very popular and high-profile company - and their Web site is a big part of that. The trip-planning page brings together live traffic and weather data with information about road works, speed camera locations and traffic modelling data to provide an incredibly valuable resource."

According to Steyn, the site can attract up to a million visitors each day during peak periods. "People can access live transport data for the whole of Europe or for the nearest intersection, all in real time."

Aspire worked with global navigation company TomTom, and local partners MapIT and AAT, to provide the platform and data that powers the ANWB site's trip-planning application. "We give ANWB's front-end developers a single, combined data feed that makes it easy for them to slot it all into the Web page. A lot of heavy lifting happens behind the scenes to compile all the base data and to manage the workloads," says Steyn.

"The scale and sophistication of the project is beyond anything we've done in SA so far," adds Steyn. "We're processing huge volumes of visitors, hits and data - we poll TomTom's main traffic service every two minutes to ensure the site is always up to date. Combined with high visitor numbers and strict uptime requirements from our client, it represents a significant technical challenge."

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