Sources and Applications of Emerging Active Travel Data: A Review of the Literature

Mohammad Anwar Alattar* (Corresponding Author), Caitlin Cottrill, Mark Beecroft

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)


Active travel (AT) has the potential to integrate with, or in some cases substitute for, trips taken by motorized transportation. In this paper we review relevant research on AT outcomes to address the potential of AT and emerging data sources in supporting the transport paradigm shift toward AT. Our analysis identifies physical, mental, built and physical environmental, monetary, and societal outcomes. Traditional methods used to acquire AT data can be divided into manual methods that require substantial user input and automated methods that can be employed for a lengthier period and are more resilient to inclement weather. Due to the proliferation of information and communication technology, emerging data sources are prevailing and can be grouped into social fitness networks, in-house developed apps, participatory mapping, imagery, bike sharing systems, social media, and other types. We assess the emerging data sources in terms of their applications and potential limitations. Furthermore, we identify developing policies and interventions, the potential of imagery, focusing on non-cycling modes and addressing data biases. Finally, we discuss the challenges of data ownership within emerging AT data and the corresponding directions for future work.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7006
Number of pages17
Issue number13
Early online date22 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021


  • active travel
  • emerging data sources
  • crowdsourced data
  • cycling
  • Strava
  • public participation geographic information system (PPGIS)


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