2006 volume 33(5) pages 727 – 748
doi:10.1068/b32047

Cite as:
Ratti C, Pulselli R M, Williams S, Frenchman D, 2006, "Mobile Landscapes: using location data from cell phones for urban analysis" Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 33(5) 727 – 748

Download citation data in RIS format

Mobile Landscapes: using location data from cell phones for urban analysis

Carlo Ratti, Riccardo Maria Pulselli, Sarah Williams, Dennis Frenchman

Received 18 February 2005; in revised form 20 September 2005

Abstract. The technology for determining the geographic location of cell phones and other handheld devices is becoming increasingly available. It is opening the way to a wide range of applications, collectively referred to as location-based services (LBS), that are primarily aimed at individual users. However, if deployed to retrieve aggregated data in cities, LBS could become a powerful tool for urban analysis. In this paper we aim to review and introduce the potential of this technology to the urban planning community. In addition, we present the ‘Mobile Landscapes’ project: an application in the metropolitan area of Milan, Italy, based on the geographical mapping of cell phone usage at different times of the day. The results enable a graphic representation of the intensity of urban activities and their evolution through space and time. Finally, a number of future applications are discussed and their potential for urban studies and planning is assessed.

This article has supplementary online material: Colour figures

Restricted material:

PDF Full-text PDF size: 1317 Kb

HTML References  45 references, 8 with DOI links (Crossref)

Your computer (IP address: 23.20.211.153) has not been recognised as being on a network authorised to view the full text or references of this article. If you are a member of a university library that has a subscription to the journal, please contact your serials librarian (subscriptions information).