Mobility Analytics Blog

StreetLight Data Blog

The latest news about Big Data and mobility analytics.

Blog Feature

Big Data  |  Real Estate  |  Retail

The Shopping Mall of the Future

These days, the shopping mall industry just can’t seem to shake the doom and gloom headlines. According to Business Insider, a “Retail Apocalypse” has officially hit America. While it’s true that declining in-store sales are forcing some retailers to close stores, those headlines don’t tell the full story. Jumping to the conclusion that it’s “the end of the world” for the modern American mall discounts their potential to adapt and thrive in today’s world. Given the socioeconomic impact that shopping centers have on our communities, we should celebrate and encourage their potential to adapt – not discourage it.

At StreetLight, we know how important shopping malls are for our communities, and we’re committed to building the tools they need to thrive. When malls and shopping centers close their doors, towns and cities don’t just lose a place to shop. People lose a place to connect to face-to-face and communities lose employers. Abandoned shopping malls can even become hotspots for petty crime. But that doesn’t have to be the future of the shopping mall.

The successful malls of the future will be those that recognize the changing desires of today’s consumers, then adapt to meet them. In this blog post, we will share a few ways for real estate and shopping center professionals to turn today’s shopping centers into the malls of the future.

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Blog Feature

Big Data  |  Retail  |  Software Updates  |  Transportation

StreetLight InSight® Update: Better Trip Purpose Metrics, the Liberty Bell, and Faster Visualizations

I’m thrilled to announce our latest monthly update of StreetLight InSight—that’s our online platform for transforming Big Data into transportation Metrics in minutes. With this release, our platform does even more to close the gap between Big Data and actionable analytics.

We’ve achieved this by adding several new Metrics, updating our databases with the latest location data sets from our suppliers, and implementing features that make StreetLight InSight more user-friendly and responsive. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the most important updates.

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Blog Feature

Big Data  |  Transportation

3 Steps for Transportation Planners to Use Big Data Effectively

Traditional methods of collecting information travel data feel familiar and intuitive to most transportation professionals. That makes sense because household surveys and simple sensors like tube counts have been around for decades. In contrast, Big Data can seem vague and conceptual. (Note: we define “Big Data” as the location records created by mobile devices.) The size and complexity of raw geospatial data sets make it nearly impossible for most transportation professionals to collect and process Big Data on their own.

But as vague and conceptual as Big Data may appear at first, it is actually just as straight-forward as traditional tools if you approach it in the right way. In this blog post, I’ll walk through three key steps that planners can take to use Big Data effectively.

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Blog Feature

Big Data  |  Case Studies  |  Transportation

Transportation Demand Management in the (Always Changing) Real World

From ride-hailing apps and volatile gas prices to electric cars and (theoretically) autonomous vehicles, transportation behavior is rapidly changing. To properly plan for and manage our evolving transportation system, engineers and planners must keep pace with these changes. If managing transportation demand is important to your community, it’s not enough to follow the old pattern of creating new core analytics every 5-10 years to feed your models for any type of planning. For transportation demand management (TDM), which could be most profoundly affected by these new trends, the need for up-to-date, real, accurate data is even sharper.

In today’s evolving environment, effective TDM requires regular access to clean, up-to-date data. One problem that many planners face is that surveys and other traditional data-gathering methods simply cannot deliver high quality data at a frequent update cadence and affordable price.

Keep reading this blog post to learn all about TDM, and to find out how Big Data can help you maximize the impact of TDM strategies.

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Blog Feature

Big Data  |  Transportation

Location-Based Services Data is Better than Cellular for Transportation – and Especially for Rural Areas

It’s undeniable that “Smart Cities” are getting all the buzz these days, especially when it comes to using Big Data for transportation. But it’s not right to leave rural communities out of the conversation. In fact, rural communities stand to reap the same benefits from better travel behavior data as densely populated areas – if not more.  

That’s why it’s so upsetting for me to hear this type of comment at industry conferences: “Big Data sounds great. But I know it won’t work in my rural county. There’s not enough coverage.” That’s outdated thinking, plain and simple.  It may have been true just a few years ago, but “Big Data” – AKA the billions of location records created by mobile devices every month – is a fast-growing, continually improving resource. With the rise of Location-Based Services (LBS) for smart phones in particular, we’ve seen an explosion of geospatial data sets with excellent coverage in rural areas.

As a Virginia native with family and friends across the many rural areas of the state, this issue hits close to home. I know from our data and my personal experience that rural drivers drive many more miles per day on average than urban drivers. We owe it to these communities to plan transportation systems that account for their unique travel behaviors.

To do that, rural planners need the up-to-date, comprehensive, and precise travel data that is only available from mobile devices. So in this blog post, I’m going to show that Big Data analytics for transportation are in fact widely available and extremely useful for rural areas.

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Blog Feature

Big Data  |  Location-Based Services  |  Smart Cities  |  Software Updates  |  Transportation  |  Validation

Introducing StreetLight Volume: 2016 AADT Metrics

After many years of client requests, we’re releasing the first cut of our StreetLight Volume: 2016 AADT Metric on the StreetLight InSight® platform. These beta Metrics provide a very robust estimate of 2016 Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) for almost any road in the US.  To learn more, keep reading this blog post, or join our webinar on June 16th at 12pm PT. Click here to register for the webinar. 

We believe this Metric provides estimates that are comparable or better than most of the standard AADT estimation practices for three reasons:

  • They can be obtained in just a few minutes from the cloud-based StreetLight InSight platform,
  • They are built by integrating four sources of data (including both GPS and Location-Based Services data, which is our new and better alternative to “cellular tower” data), and
  • They cost less than half as much as typical AADT data collection and estimation processes.

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