Strategies for Using Mobile Big Data for Official Statistics

Type: Panel
Sponsor Groups:
Poster #:
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM (Eastern Standard Time)
Room: Wilson A, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Organizers: Age Poom, Matthew Zook, Harvey Miller
Chairs: Harvey Miller


In the light of UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, data forms the cornerstone in monitoring the state and dynamics of human action and social phenomena. Informed decision-making for achieving the sustainability goals (SDGs) requires fast and safe access to adequate data sources covering relevant population groups and spatial units. Official statistics should meet these expectations by developing relevant, reliable and scale-sensitive indicators that reflect societal transformations in adequate timeframe.
This panel addresses strategies for how spatial big data can contribute to the development of socio-spatial indicators for official statistics. Building upon the ten-plus years of experience of the Mobility Lab at Tartu University, we focus on the use of mobile devices for collecting data and developing data infrastructure on human dynamics. Example of applications include urban-rural settlement systems and spatial dependencies, commuting amounts, migration and transnationality, tourism rates, socio-spatial inequalities, spread of health risks, access to resources, or environmental pressures from consumption and mobility. We highlight the success stories in using mobile big data to monitor socio-spatial processes and also address the challenges related to methodology, stability, data collaboration and privacy.
The panel also discusses possible strategies to link traditional and new spatial data sources, e.g. mobile data with registry data, to improve the quality of indicators. Toward this end, we introduce an already established strategic data partnership Infotechnological Mobility Observatory between the University of Tartu, Statistics Estonia and mobile operators that provides publicly available and regularly updated population datasets and origin-destination matrices across the country built on mobile positioning Call Detailed Record data. These individual cases and experiences form the methodological basis to develop relevant indicators and data infrastructures that can form a safe, stable, continuously functioning and regularly updated official system with adequate access to decision-makers and other users of data.


Type Details Minutes
Introduction Menno-Jan Kraak ITC 20
Discussant Harvey Miller The Ohio State University 20
Panelist Matthew Zook University of Kentucky 15
Panelist Age Poom University of Tartu 15
Panelist Anto Aasa 15
Panelist Tuuli Toivonen 15

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