Crowd-Sourcing Big Data from Smartphone Apps for Transportation Research: Role of Statistics and Challenges
The proliferation of smartphone provides a great opportunity to collect travel and road infrastructure information from both road users and the general population. Compared to traditional survey-based method, the cell phone approach does not require specialized instruments and can provide continuously data feeding from large sample size. The cell phone approach also makes the collection possible for these traditionally difficult-to-collect data items such as exposure from alternative transportation modes. Federal Highway Administration, state department of transportation, and local agencies have initiated various projects and programs to explore the related procedures, processes, and data. While these explorations reveal great opportunities and potentials, significant challenges are also being identified. Privacy issue, sampling control, variability and noise, data weighting and expansion et al are still formidable roadblocks to the acceptance of the entire community. This panel consisted of experts from federal, state and local government agencies and academics will provide an overview of the current state-of-practice.