The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is attempting to help you by providing improved winter road condition reporting on 511wi.gov. WisDOT Secretary Craig Thompson said “We’re proud to find new ways to leverage technology to improve service and give the public a more clear and accurate idea of how to prepare for the drive ahead.” The 511 update revealed ties to the Maintenance Decision Support System (MDSS), which is the technology that the department and county highway departments use to make informed decisions about salting or plowing roads. The data sources that make up the MDSS technology include atmospheric and road weather sensors along the roadway and at airports, information from snowplows enabled with Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and information from the National Weather Service. In previous years, the updates on road conditions were provided manually with personnel reporting conditions. The MDSS technology provides an expanded system and one that is capable of producing more accurate data at a better consistency. More than 14,000 miles of roadway will be updated at least twice hourly starting today. The old system was able to cover only 3,700 miles with field observations coming in every several hours.