Who, why and when? Using smart card and social media data to reveal flows through urban spaces

Authors: Alison Heppenstall*, , Yuanxuan Yang, University of Leeds, Alexis Comber, University of Leeds
Topics: Spatial Analysis & Modeling, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: Smart card data, individual mobility, urban analytics, big data, social media
Session Type: Paper
Scheduler ID: THU-064-10:00 a.m.
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Bayside A, Sheraton, 4th Floor


This paper presents novel research that analyses and visualises micro-level data sources to study the spatio-temporal characteristics of journeys. It examines data covering a five-day period in 2014 of travel on the main bus and metro public transport systems in Shenzhen, China. The analysis is based on smart card data that tracks the movements of users in and out of the transport system, and social media check-in data that is used to help infer the purpose of journeys from origins to destinations. The results show that this data can be successfully combined to reveal new information about movements of different groups of individuals around urban spaces. We conclude with a critique of how this approach can be refined for future work. This research has the potential to advance understanding of travel patterns and is a step towards developing practical applications in land use and transport planning.

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