A Holistic Framework for the Study of Urban Traces and the Profiling of Urban Processes and Dynamics



Pervasive systems produce massive amounts of data as by-products of their interaction with users. Cell phone calls can inform us on how many people are present in a given area and how many are entering or leaving it. Geotagged photos can tell us where tourists go within the city and how much time they spend in each place. Descriptions of events, products, and services allow us to characterize places based on their most popular activities, products, and services.
In this paper we illustrate a research agenda that aims at developing a holistic framework for the study of urban traces and the profiling of urban processes and their dynamics which will enable us to better understand how cities function and to develop more efficient urban policies. We also present the results of a preliminary case study in New York City where we analyzed the correlation between cell phone network handovers and traffic volumes and between semantic indexes of public events and local variations in cell phone activity. The results showed that there exist causal relationships between these types of data, and confirmed that there is strong promise in the holistic study of urban traces.
Index Terms'Holistic Framework, Urban Traces, Digital Foot- prints, Geocodable Buzz, Urban Processes, Urban Dynamics


Ubiquitous Computing

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CityMotion (MITPortugal Program)


12th International IEEE Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems, October 2009

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