Mapping similarities in temporal parking occupancy behavior based on city-wide parking meter data
The search for a parking space is a severe and stressful problem for drivers in many cities. The provision of maps with parking space occupancy information assists drivers in avoiding the most crowded roads at certain times. Since parking occupancy reveals a repetitive pattern per day and per week, typical parking occupancy patterns can be extracted from historical data.
In this paper, we analyze city-wide parking meter data from Hannover, Germany, for a full year. We describe an approach of clustering these parking meters to reduce the complexity of this parking occupancy information and to reveal areas with similar parking behavior. The parking occupancy at every parking meter is derived from a timestamp of ticket payment and the validity period of the parking tickets. The similarity of the parking meters is computed as the mean-squared deviation of the average daily patterns in parking occupancy at the parking meters. Based on this similarity measure, a hierarchical clustering is applied. The number of clusters is determined with the Davies-Bouldin Index and the Silhouette Index.
Results show that, after extensive data cleansing, the clustering leads to three clusters representing typical parking occupancy day patterns. Those clusters differ mainly in the hour of the maximum occupancy. In addition, the lo-cations of parking meter clusters, computed only based on temporal similarity, also show clear spatial distinctions from other clusters.