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Cellular Census: Explorations in Urban Data Collection

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4 Author(s)
Reades, J. ; Univ. Coll. London, London ; Calabrese, F. ; Sevtsuk, A. ; Ratti, C.

Much of our understanding of urban systems comes from traditional data collection methods such as surveys by person or phone. These approaches can provide detailed information about urban behaviors, but they're hard to update and might limit results to "snapshots in time." In the past few years, some innovative approaches have sought to use mobile devices to collect spatiotemporal data. But little research has been done to develop and analyze the much larger samples of existing data generated daily by mobile networks. The most common explanation for this is that the challenge of data-sharing with the telecommunications industry has hampered data access. However, in early 2006, a collaboration between Telecom Italia, which serves 40 percent of the Roman market, and MIT's SKNSEable City Laboratory ( allowed unprecedented access to aggregate mobile phone data from Rome. Here, we explore how researchers might be able to use data for an entire metropolitan region to analyze urban dynamics.

Published in:

Pervasive Computing, IEEE  (Volume:6 ,  Issue: 3 )

Date of Publication:

July-Sept. 2007

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