A review of quantitative methods for movement data

Jed A. Long, Trisalyn Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

99 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The collection, visualization, and analysis of movement data is at the forefront of geographic information science research. Movement data are generally collected by recording an object's spatial location (e.g., XY coordinates) at discrete time intervals. Methods for extracting useful information, for example space-time patterns, from these increasingly large and detailed datasets have lagged behind the technology for generating them. In this article we review existing quantitative methods for analyzing movement data. The objective of this article is to provide a synthesis of the existing literature on quantitative analysis of movement data while identifying those techniques that have merit with novel datasets. Seven classes of methods are identified: (1) time geography, (2) path descriptors, (3) similarity indices, (4) pattern and cluster methods, (5) individual-group dynamics, (6) spatial field methods, and (7) spatial range methods. Challenges routinely faced in quantitative analysis of movement data include difficulties with handling space and time attributes together, representing time in GIS, and using classical statistical testing procedures with space-time movement data. Areas for future research include investigating equivalent distance comparisons in space and time, measuring interactions between moving objects, developing predictive frameworks for movement data, integrating movement data with existing geographic layers, and incorporating theory from time geography into movement models. In conclusion, quantitative analysis of movement data is an active research area with tremendous opportunity for new developments and methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)292-318
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Journal of Geographical Information Science
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

quantitative method
Chemical analysis
Information science
Geographic information systems
quantitative analysis
Visualization
Testing
geography
method
testing procedure
group dynamics
time
similarity index
field method
information science
visualization
recording
Geographical Information System
GIS
interaction

Keywords

  • geographic information science
  • mobile objects
  • spatial analysis
  • spatio-temporal data modeling
  • time geography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Library and Information Sciences

Cite this

A review of quantitative methods for movement data. / Long, Jed A.; Nelson, Trisalyn.

In: International Journal of Geographical Information Science, Vol. 27, No. 2, 02.2013, p. 292-318.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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