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.