EXPLORING POTENTIAL OF CROWDSOURCED GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION IN STUDIES OF ACTIVE TRAVEL AND HEALTH: STRAVA DATA AND CYCLING BEHAVIOUR
In development of sustainable transportation and green city, policymakers encourage people to commute by cycling and walking instead of motor vehicles in cities. One the one hand, cycling and walking enables decrease in air pollution emissions. On the other hand, cycling and walking offer health benefits by increasing people’s physical activity. Earlier studies on investigating spatial patterns of active travel (cycling and walking) are limited by lacks of spatially fine-grained data. In recent years, with the development of information and communications technology, GPS-enabled devices are popular and portable. With smart phones or smart watches, people are able to record their cycling or walking GPS traces when they are moving. A large number of cyclists and pedestrians upload their GPS traces to sport social media to share their historical traces with other people. Those sport social media thus become a potential source for spatially fine-grained cycling and walking data. Very recently, Strava Metro offer aggregated cycling and walking data with high spatial granularity. Strava Metro aggregated a large amount of cycling and walking GPS traces of Strava users to streets or intersections across a city. Accordingly, as a kind of crowdsourced geographic information, the aggregated data is useful for investigating spatial patterns of cycling and walking activities, and thus is of high potential in understanding cycling or walking behavior at a large spatial scale. This study is a start of demonstrating usefulness of Strava Metro data for exploring cycling or walking patterns at a large scale.