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Sensors 2009, 9(4), 3033-3055; doi:10.3390/s90403033

Sensing Human Activity: GPS Tracking

1,* , 1
1, 2
1 Department of Urbanism, Faculty of Architecture, Delft University of Technology, Julianalaan 132-134, 2628 BL, DELFT, the Netherlands 2 Chair MISSU, Multifunctional (sustainable) Spatial Use, University of Applied Sciences, PO Box 1025, 1000 BA, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 February 2009 / Revised: 26 March 2009 / Accepted: 22 April 2009 / Published: 24 April 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Workshop Sensing A Changing World)
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The enhancement of GPS technology enables the use of GPS devices not only as navigation and orientation tools, but also as instruments used to capture travelled routes: as sensors that measure activity on a city scale or the regional scale. TU Delft developed a process and database architecture for collecting data on pedestrian movement in three European city centres, Norwich, Rouen and Koblenz, and in another experiment for collecting activity data of 13 families in Almere (The Netherlands) for one week. The question posed in this paper is: what is the value of GPS as ‘sensor technology’ measuring activities of people? The conclusion is that GPS offers a widely useable instrument to collect invaluable spatial-temporal data on different scales and in different settings adding new layers of knowledge to urban studies, but the use of GPS-technology and deployment of GPS-devices still offers significant challenges for future research.
Keywords: GPS; Tracking; People; Behaviour; Mapping; Movement GPS; Tracking; People; Behaviour; Mapping; Movement
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Van der Spek, S.; Van Schaick, J.; De Bois, P.; De Haan, R. Sensing Human Activity: GPS Tracking. Sensors 2009, 9, 3033-3055.

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