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Vehicle-based sensors can be used for traffic monitoring. These sensors are usually set with long sampling intervals to save communication costs and to avoid network congestion. In this paper, we are interested in understanding the traffic-monitoring performance that we can expect from such vehicle-based mobile sensor networks, despite the incomplete information provided. This is a fundamental problem to be addressed. A performance evaluation has been carried out in Shanghai, China, by utilizing the vehicle-based sensors installed in about 4000 taxies. Two types of traffic status-estimation algorithms, i.e., the link-based and the vehicle-based, are introduced and analyzed. The results show that estimations of the traffic status based on these imperfect data are reasonably accurate. Therefore, the feasibility of such an application is demonstrated.