Do's and Don'ts of Smartphone GPS Data Sources for Cyclist Travel Behavior - Recorded Webinar

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STRIDE Webinar Series: Do's and Don'ts of Smartphone GPS Data Sources for Cyclist Travel Behavior

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ABSTRACT:   As the emphasis placed on cycling as a means of transportation is increasing in the United States, so is the need for adequate facilities that provide cyclists with a comfortable and connected facility. In order for these facilities to be built and encourage community residents to cycle, city planners and engineers need to understand what type of facilities are appropriate and where they should be placed. This webinar discusses the results of multiple projects using Cycle Atlanta (, a mobile application that records a cyclist’s bike route using the geolocation data in the phone. Dr. Watkins will discuss the process of maintaining and updating the app over time, comparisons to other app-based and traditional data sources, and results from multiple studies using Cycle Atlanta data. A comparison of the data obtained from Cycle Atlanta and Strava showed differences between the two populations in terms of gender, age, percent commute trips, trip lengths, and preference for bike paths. Additionally, only about 3% of the cyclists counted had recorded their trip, emphasizing that use of app data should carefully take into account the likely bias from the self-selected users of such apps. Studies that have been conducted using Cycle Atlanta data include a route choice analysis and a survey of infrastructure preferences among cyclists.  The survey showed that riders across all cyclist types prefer dedicated cycling facilities and are opposed to high speed traffic and high volume traffic, with significant variations in the influence of infrastructure across classification of the cyclists. Route choice analysis has shown that availability of bicycling facilities, low AADT, and low speed limits significantly influence a rider to choose a route away from the shortest route. The lessons learned from these research efforts will inform planners and engineers on the recommended best practices for use of smartphone GPS data sources and infrastructure preferences among a wide range of cyclists.  


FREE!  However, there will be a $25 charge, if you are interested in receiving 1 PDH. 


Kari E. Watkins,  Ph.D., Associate Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology   


Dr. Kari Watkins is a newly tenured Associate Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Georgia Tech and the Frederick Law Olmsted Junior Professor.  She returned to her undergraduate alma mater to become a faculty member in 2011 after completing her PhD at the University of Washington. Dr. Watkins focuses her research on the creation of a more livable and sustainable transportation system using the application of information technologies to improve public transit and bikeability.  Her work in transportation technology has been lauded with numerous awards, most recently the 2017 CUTC New Faculty Award.  She began her work in this field co-developing OneBusAway, a real-time transit rider information system that relies on open data from transit agencies.  A recent additional application of Dr. Watkins’ has been crowdsourcing data on bike trips, issues and assets to understand route choice and provide better information to potential cyclists via the Cycle Atlanta program.