The mobility patterns and trip behavior of people are usually extracted from data collected by traditional survey methods. However, these methods are generally costly and difficult to implement, especially in developing cities with limited resources. The massive amounts of call detail record (CDR) data passively generated by ubiquitous mobile phone usage provide researchers with the opportunity to innovate alternative methods that are inexpensive and easier and faster to implement than traditional methods. This paper proposes a method based on proven techniques to extract the origin–destination (OD) trips from the raw CDR data of mobile phone users and process the data to capture the mobility of those users. The proposed method was applied to 3.4 million mobile phone users over a 12-day period in Mozambique, and the data processed to capture the mobility of people living in the Greater Maputo metropolitan area in different time frames (weekdays and weekends). Subsequently, trip generation maps, attraction maps, and the OD matrix of the study area, which are all practically usable for urban and transportation planning, were generated. Furthermore, spatiotemporal interpolation was applied to all OD trips to reconstruct the population distribution in the study area on an average weekday and weekend. Comparison of the results obtained with actual survey results from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) indicate that the proposed method achieves acceptable accuracy. The proposed method and study demonstrate the efficacy of mining big data sources, particularly mobile phone CDR data, to infer the spatiotemporal human mobility of people in a city and understand their flow pattern, which is valuable information for city planning.
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