Utilizing crowdsourced data for studies of cycling and air pollution exposure: a case study using Strava data

Sun, Y. and Mobasheri, A. (2017) Utilizing crowdsourced data for studies of cycling and air pollution exposure: a case study using Strava data. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 14(3), 274. (doi:10.3390/ijerph14030274) (PMID:28282865) (PMCID:PMC5369110)

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Abstract

With the development of information and communications technology, user-generated content and crowdsourced data are playing a large role in studies of transport and public health. Recently, Strava, a popular website and mobile app dedicated to tracking athletic activity (cycling and running), began offering a data service called Strava Metro, designed to help transportation researchers and urban planners to improve infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians. Strava Metro data has the potential to promote studies of cycling and health by indicating where commuting and non-commuting cycling activities are at a large spatial scale (street level and intersection level). The assessment of spatially varying effects of air pollution during active travel (cycling or walking) might benefit from Strava Metro data, as a variation in air pollution levels within a city would be expected. In this paper, to explore the potential of Strava Metro data in research of active travel and health, we investigate spatial patterns of non-commuting cycling activities and associations between cycling purpose (commuting and non-commuting) and air pollution exposure at a large scale. Additionally, we attempt to estimate the number of non-commuting cycling trips according to environmental characteristics that may help identify cycling behavior. Researchers who are undertaking studies relating to cycling purpose could benefit from this approach in their use of cycling trip data sets that lack trip purpose. We use the Strava Metro Nodes data from Glasgow, United Kingdom in an empirical study. Empirical results reveal some findings that (1) when compared with commuting cycling activities, non-commuting cycling activities are more likely to be located in outskirts of the city; (2) spatially speaking, cyclists riding for recreation and other purposes are more likely to be exposed to relatively low levels of air pollution than cyclists riding for commuting; and (3) the method for estimating of the number of non-commuting cycling activities works well in this study. The results highlight: (1) a need for policymakers to consider how to improve cycling infrastructure and road safety in outskirts of cities; and (2) a possible way of estimating the number of non-commuting cycling activities when the trip purpose of cycling data is unknown.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Sun, Mr Yeran
Authors: Sun, Y., and Mobasheri, A.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Journal Name:International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Publisher:MDPI
ISSN:1660-4601
ISSN (Online):1660-4601
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 The Authors
First Published:First published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 14(3): 274
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
651921Urban Big Data Research CentrePiyushimita ThakuriahEconomic & Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/L011921/1SPS - URBAN STUDIES