Transcad video tutorials

As I already mentioned, I’m currently pursuing my Ph.D. at UC Irvine. Among the many activities I have there, I am the teaching assistant (TA) for CEE123, which is an undergraduate senior class created to teach the 4-step modeling process to senior undergraduate and graduate students.

This discipline on 4-step modeling with a very intense (textbook) project to be done in TransCad, and I am the one teaching the students about the software (currently the 5.0 version, but I hope we will get the 6.0 from Caliper eventually since they have been very kind in giving us the software in the past).

The first time I thought this class was in 2011, and I found that even though Prof. McNally had put together a very detailed step-by-step tutorial for proceeding with the project development, some students had problems “visualizing” the instructions.

Since I already had professional experience with TransCad and already knew pretty well the theory of the 4-step model, I decided that I’d use some of my time as a TA to develop some material to help the students with TransCad features: A series of videos to help my students with their project and a text tutorial (the subject of a future post when it is more complete).

I produced about  15 to 20 videos at first, but by the end of the quarter I found out that very few of the students had seen it. However, I started getting questions and comments from all over the world (currently I have a Canadian and an Algerian asking questions regularly).

In 2012 I created a second batch of videos, and now a third batch will be produced (during the Spring Quarter), so I went back to check how many views I had so far. To my surprise I have over 9.000 views considering all videos, which is a lot more than I ever considered possible.

Why do these videos have so many views?  I have a few hypotheses:

  1. People prefer to have a class on the software use instead of learning on their own (and a paid training session is too expensive);
  2. The videos allow them to learn and re-visit non-clear points at any time; and/or
  3. The manuals are too dense and it is good to have a set of videos focusing in a more tangible way the most important points.

Seeing how well the videos were received, I believe that the software houses could invest some time in creating their own video tutorials or giving incentives for users to do so. Especially software like Citilabs Cube, which has a much more difficult learning curve, would give a much better impression to their new users.

The videos can be found in the format of a playlist on Youtube, but you can also download most of the video files from HERE (675Mb). Please note that even though I will post more videos on Youtube, I will not update this file for download, so the safest place to find the most up-to-date videos will always be my channel on Youtube.

A friend asked me what do I gain from creating and posting these videos, and the answer to that question is very simple:

  1. I get to keep my TransCad skills fresh;
  2. I have to think over what I’m doing when creating the software, what makes me explore (and often) find more efficient ways to perform an operation using the software; and
  3. It gives me some visibility on the job market (found that out a little while ago, though), which might help me whenever I try to find a job.

9 thoughts on “Transcad video tutorials

  1. Dear Pedro,

    Congratulations. It’s really e very good initiative. Some months ago I had to use vissim in a Project. I was really surprised with the help. It was no tutorial . I’m thinking that the company is following that strategy for commercial purposes only. Actually I’m working in Albania and I’m a transcad user. I like it but unfortunately in Albania the administrations are not financing transport modelling projects.

    I’m very happy with your initiative. I would like to have those transcad videos. I tried downloading the file from this website but seems very difficult.

    Another thing is BPR model for uninterrupted flow road segments. I saw your comment. I tried to find any book or manual showing the procedure how to calibrate it. I found that HCM 1965 and traffic assignment manual of 1964 say something about it. I’m not sure . I don’t know if you can help me about it.

    My Best Regards,

    Edmond Alite

  2. Thanks, if everyone would think like you the earth would be much better place to live and enjoy!

  3. I am new to this and travel demand modeling and was wondering if you could help me figure some this stuff out please email thanks

  4. Another great post! Those TransCAD videos are HOT! Students, or anyone learning transCAD, will benefit from them! Have you considered a CUBE Series of video tutorials, or GIS?

  5. Hello Pedro

    Im from Colombia, and im starting to learn Transcad. I found your videos in internet which are really interesting and helpfull.

    I have a question about adding an Orthophoto. I have 3 files of Bogota (.aux, .ecw, and .ers), and i tried to adding but there is no way to do that. Can you help me with this problem?

    Looking forward to your replay.



  6. hi, i’m Edgar, from Mexico city,and i´m student of civil engineeringin in “Fac. de ingeniera de la UNAM”. first of all, i would like to say, i don’t speak inglish very well, so i hope that you can understand me. I have to do an analisis with transcad, but i don´t know how to use it, so i want to ask you how do i can see the videos in an order that allows me to understand how can i enter my data to obtain a descroption of my actual condicion in the study area.
    the goal is to obtain a comparative between two conditions: one, the actual condition where exist an oversaturation of the main routes that connect my study area with an urban center, and two, the future condition, placing a cableway for connect the study area with my urban center

  7. Hi, I’m currently working on TransCAD for my research thesis in Pakistan. I have few basic questions about learning Software.
    can you please help me doing my thesis.

  8. Hello,

    May I know if you have any videos about modal split in TransCAD ?


    1. I will not be producing any more TransCad video tutorials in the foreseeable future.

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