There are a number of commonly used file formats for traffic control plans. We’ve listed some of these below, with some of the pros and cons of each.
The most commonly used file format is the .tcp file, which stands for ‘traffic control plan’ file. TCP files are produced a software application called RapidPlan, which is produced by Invarion. Information about RapidPlan can be found at www.invarion.com. RapidPlan is software specially made for drawing traffic control plans and is one of the few tools available that have been specifically designed for their creation. RapidPlan also creates plans in a vector format, which means they can be zoomed in and out without any loss in plan quality
Various CAD programs can be used to create traffic control plans. Typically these files aren’t portable and can only be used in the program they were created with, or other similar cad programs. Typically CAD programs can produce very detailed plans, but they are generally not straightforward to use and can require significant training
PDF stands for portable document format. Often PDF files are created by other programs to facilitate easier distribution of traffic control plans. Programs like RapidPlan can create PDF files which can then be shared with people that don’t have access to their own traffic control plan software. To view PDF files you just need a PDF viewer, like Foxit PDF reader, or Adobe acrobat reader
Traffic Control Plans can also be created as basic image files, such as BMP, PNG and JPG. Plans in these formats can vary significantly in size and are often very difficult to edit. The are a raster format plan, which is inferior to vector format plans. See our other post on Raster vs Vector for the difference