Leveraging Big Data for the Development of Transport Sustainability Indicators

Caitlin D. Cottrill* (Corresponding Author), Sybil Derrible

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Citations (Scopus)


While increasing transportation sustainability is an ongoing effort, measuring the results of these efforts is not a trivial task. Not only is indicator selection challenging, but efforts made to design useful indicators are often hampered by the presence of erroneous or incomplete data. Nevertheless, in this era of Big Data, the significant penetration of new technologies such as smartphones and smart infrastructure could hold the key to developing more relevant and comprehensive indicators. Here, we recall commonly used indicators and discuss the limitations of the data upon which they are built. We then describe several new technologies that hold promise for collection of more pertinent and accurate data sets for indicator development. Finally, we illustrate potential benefits and concerns of these approaches via discussion of possible indicator development from a one-day GPS trace. While the first and obvious application of new technologies will be to improve much needed accuracy, successfully combining different sources together could hold much potential from model calibration to real-time operations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-64
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Urban Technology
Issue number1
Early online date3 Feb 2015
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015


  • sustainable transportation
  • indicators
  • new technologies
  • smartphones
  • privacy


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