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Mobile Phone Network Data: New Sources for Urban Studies?

Mobile Phone Network Data: New Sources for Urban Studies?
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Author(s): Fabio Manfredini (Politecnico di Milano, Italy), Paola Pucci (Politecnico di Milano, Italy) and Paolo Tagliolato (Politecnico di Milano, Italy)
Copyright: 2013
Pages: 14
Source title: Geographic Information Analysis for Sustainable Development and Economic Planning: New Technologies
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Giuseppe Borruso (University of Trieste, Italy), Stefania Bertazzon (University of Calgary, Canada), Andrea Favretto (University of Trieste, Italy), Beniamino Murgante (University of Basilicata, Italy) and Carmelo Maria Torre (Polytechnic of Bari, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1924-1.ch008


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The chapter presents some applications of mobile phone network data analysis to urban studies. At the beginning, through examples on mobility, temporary population, and scale, the reasons are discussed for why urban analysis traditional data sources no longer appear to be adequate to describe contemporary city dynamics. Afterwards, mobile phone network data is introduced as a potential new source for urban studies, providing evidences and arguments on issues such as large events monitoring, the need of integration of mobile phone traffic data with statistical data and temporary population definition and analysis. Because of its spatial and temporal resolution, mobile phone data represent an interesting and unique source of information on urban uses variability over time. Telephone traffic can become a valid alternative/complement to traditional methods, being it able to resolve both traditional survey’s limitations of latency (cellular network information can be easily retrieved in real time) and pervasivity (huge diffusion of cell-phones) at once.

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