moto-moto-sc-M752lodqSgg-unsplash.jpg
more on: mobilitydata

Validating the Use of Wi-Fi Signals

to Estimate Hyperlocal Urban Population

+ Nicholas Johnson, Pablo Mandiola, Cyrus Blankinship, Bartosz Bonczak, Constantine Kontokosta

Abstract

Validating the Use of Wi-Fi Signals to Estimate Hyperlocal Urban Populations

2019 IEEE International Conference on Big Data (Big Data), Los Angeles, CA, USA, 2019, pp. 1650-1655

The widespread adoption and use of mobile phone and Wi-Fi enabled devices has created new sources of big data useful for understanding urban mobility and real-time population activity. Wi-Fi networks in particular are being increasingly deployed throughout dense urban areas providing new possibilities to study the dynamics of urban populations. However, there is little known about the ability of Wi-Fi networks to quantify urban populations in real-time, including the accuracy, coverage and capture rate of these networks. In this research, we compare three methods for generating population estimates using Wi-Fi probe request data and validate these approaches with manual count data for a two month period. Despite concerns related to data bias and representativeness, we find that Wi-Fi data can be a viable source of information for estimating urban populations.

 

Read More

Nicholas E. Johnson is a Postdoctoral Associate in Dr. Constantine Kontokosta’s Civic Analytics Program at the NYU Marron Institute of Urban Management.

Pablo is an MS candidate at NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) and a Civic Analytics Fellow at the Marron Institute.

Cyrus Blankinship is a graduate student at NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) and Civic Analytics Fellow at the Marron Institute.

Bartosz Bonczak is a Research Scientist and Lab Manager in the Civic Analytics Program at the NYU Marron Institute.

Constantine E. Kontokosta, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Urban Science and Planning and Director of the Civic Analytics program at the NYU Marron Institute of Urban Management. He also directs the Urban Intelligence Lab and holds cross-appointments at the Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) and the Department of Civil and Urban Engineering at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, and is affiliated faculty at the NYU Wagner School of Public Service.

Back to top
see comments ()