Application of Tracking Technologies to the Study of Pedestrian Spatial Behavior


  • *This research was supported by The Israel Science Foundation (Grant No. 832/03). The authors also thank Tamar Soffer for drawing the maps and figures, Adi Bennun for constructive advice on GIS visualisation, Ituran Ltd. for allowing the use of their tracking system, Paz Logistics Ltd. for allowing testing of various GPS receivers, and the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments.


Research into human spatial behavior has tended to rely solely on evidence provided by the research subjects themselves. Subjects' accounts of where they were and for how long were logged and integrated into time-space diaries. In the past few years, a number of studies have exploited advanced tracking technologies instead of the traditional diary technique, however these were mostly transport studies focusing on vehicular movement. This article explores the implementation of tracking technologies as a tool for gathering data on pedestrian spatial behavior. The article considers two of the principal tracking technologies available today: satellite navigation systems and land-based navigation systems. The makeup and properties of each technology are detailed, and their potential as data-gathering tools on pedestrian spatial behavior is evaluated.