Open Collections

UBC Undergraduate Research

Automating campus transportation monitoring : executive summary Stonham, David 2015-12-04

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Notice for Google Chrome users:
If you are having trouble viewing or searching the PDF with Google Chrome, please download it here instead.

Item Metadata


18861-Stonham_David_SEEDS_2015.pdf [ 760.78kB ]
JSON: 18861-1.0224795.json
JSON-LD: 18861-1.0224795-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 18861-1.0224795-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 18861-1.0224795-rdf.json
Turtle: 18861-1.0224795-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 18861-1.0224795-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 18861-1.0224795-source.json
Full Text

Full Text

 UBC Social Ecological Economic Development Studies (SEEDS) Student ReportDavid StonhamAutomating Campus Transportation Monitoring - Executive SummaryCIVL 202December 04, 201514021948University of British Columbia Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS Program provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or a SEEDS team representative about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report”.Automating Campus Transportation Monitoring - Executive Summary  Context In their recent Transportation Plan, UBC Campus and Community Planning (C+CP) committed to implementing a comprehensive transportation monitoring program in order to inform future policy and development decisions on the UBC Vancouver campus (C+CP, 2014). Of particular importance in a monitoring program, is fine scale patterns of mobility among pedestrians and cyclists, since C+CP have prioritised them for being sustainable transportation options. Through the following poster presentation, I seek to identify the current state of knowledge with respect to transportation monitoring and human mobility tracking and at UBC, present this state of knowledge in a clear manner, and provide recommendations for further studies in the development of the monitoring program.  Methods This state of knowledge has been synthesized from a number of sources. Firstly I reviewed the outcomes of the my first SEEDS project on Campus Transportation Monitoring, a feasibility assessment of using GPS technology to track individuals movements across campus. This pilot study was carried out in 2014 and documented in the report entitled “Enhancing Campus Transportation Monitoring (Stonham, 2014). Secondly, I conducted a telephone interview with members of staff at C+CP to revisit the conclusions of the pilot study and highlight areas where improvements could be made. Finally, I reviewed (the participant side) of an existing study, which uses a web based API, set up by the University of Washington, as this study has many features that would be applicable to  a UBC monitoring program. Conclusions Through this poster, I present two concrete recommendations for steps that C+CP can implement next in their development strategy for a monitoring program. Both recommendations involve further research into technologies that could be scalable to a campus wide, ongoing transportation monitoring program at UBC. 1. Explore in more detail using a web based API technology to allow study participants to record details of their routes retrospectively  on an online map. Evaluate the pros and cons of this method. 2. Conduct a second feasibility assessment into GPS tracking using a mobile application rather than a custom GPS Data Logger as used in the 2014 feasibility assessment. Additionally, I would suggest that both of these lines of inquiry could be evaluated by students working through the SEEDS program in tandem with C+CP staff.  David Stonham UBC SEEDS Program  Although the framework originated from the Mining and Minerals industry, by asking the “Seven Questions for Sustainability” (CIVL 200, 2015) we can determine whether this operation's “net contribution to sustainability is positive over the long term:  Evaluation of Sustainability of “My Places”  UBC Campus Transportation Monitoring  Tracking fine scale transportation patterns across the campus is a powerful and essential tool for data based policy decisions. In their Transportation Plan, C+CP committed to implementing a transportation monitoring program (C+CP, 2014). Transportation planning, and the correct implementation of monitoring technology can be considered as a form of Engineering for Sustainability. Transportation Planning aids David Stonham CIVL 200 Dec 4, 2015 for on  Time and money are a precious resource and must be used efficiently. Finite resources necessitate a trade off between scale and quality of a study. Available Resources using requires  Designing a study to use resources sparingly whilst being large enough in scope to gather data that may be useful or required in the future. Efficiency  By learning when and where students choose to walk and bike, safety can be improved with measures such as street lighting, improved crosswalks and dedicated rights of way. Public Safety  A study just large enough to interpret meaningful results without adding cost. Statistically Significant  The more people are encouraged to walk or bike, the less energy is used in moving people to, from, and around campus. Additionally, with proper monitoring and data driven policy, energy (and materials) invested in maintaining the public realm will be used in the most efficient manner. Energy Demand  The University of Washington (UoW) Office of Planning + Budgeting (OP+B) created the “My Places” survey using a map API as part of a Campus Landscape Framework Plan, to “guide the development and stewardship of the campus landscape over the next 20 years.” (University of Washington, 2015) U of Washington “My Places”  C+CP prioritise walking and cycling over other forms of transportation both to and from campus and within it(C+CP, 2014). Effective cycling and pedestrian infrastructure play an important role in achieving this result in addition to an extensive public transportation system and personal decisions of an informed public. Sustainability increases determine  The UBC campus is thriving with enthusiastic students looking for data. By making the results of a study available, student projects will benefit from reliable data. Reporting  Larger temporal and geographical scale of a study will increase costs. Scale  The more people involved in a study the closer the results reflect the population. Participation  A detailed study will provide a bank of data from which inferences can be made in topics not originally considered. Complexity lowers and  In the Fall of 2014 a pilot study was carried out to assess the feasibility of using GPS Loggers to track individuals as they travelled across the campus. While the results of the 10 person study were eye opening, particularly when establishing the importance of route data in preference to point data, the technology had several limitations. The study could not be scaled due to the large cost of equipment and quantity of data to process. The Data Loggers also did not provide a concrete means of recording the mode of travel, something which C+CP is very interested to find out. (Stonham, 2014) Pilot Study learning from REC SUB IKB Context: This poster presentation furthers research into monitoring methods for human mobility patterns at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Here, I synthesize existing work, clarify key aspects of a study, and provide examples of existing technology. I  identify two suggestions for Campus and Community Planning (C+CP) to aid the successful implementation of an ongoing  and comprehensive monitoring program to aid operational decisions impacting the sustainability of the campus for years to come. aim for  The demographic, of participants, how they are selected, and the technology they use will introduce bias. Bias leads to explain when  Many students not only own, but carry a device that  runs readily accessible GPS and mapping software. C+CP should fully investigate this option by means of a second feasibility assessment. Mobile App  Understanding how people use and occupy space is important for allocation of rights of way and can prompt appropriate changes to infrastructure and encourage sustainability.  Mode Share  In order to scale the study and process a large quantity of data the process needs to be streamlined and automated wherever possible. Automation  Another means of getting route data without GPS receiver. Study participants manually enter information on their routes retrospectively and online. The pros and cons of this method should be explored thoroughly by C+CP. Web Map API  Using satellite tracking proved to be a useful tool for gathering accurate data, but the tech we used lacked the scalability required for a full scale study. processing the data was the largest hurdle as each track was manually checked and cleaned of errors. GPS Tracking  Following a participant’s path facilitates an understanding of how and why different parts of the campus are connected and provides the opportunity to re-enforce these links in the community. Route Data  The collection of data from discrete locations across campus can assist with isolated projects, but lacks the connectivity required for a whole system approach. Point Data Does a synthesis show a net positive result in the long term? By learning about connectivity and flow the UoW OP+B can make decisions based on real data to enhance the sustainability of the campus. Are institutional arrangements and governance in place to address project or operational consequences? Not only is there demonstrated capacity to set up the study, but the project provides feedback precisely for aiding operational decisions. Are traditional/non-market activities accounted for appropriately? In the absence of specific details and without reviewing the process by which this study came about, I cannot fully evaluate this point. Will the economy of the community be better off as a result? The potential benefits and cost savings that could result from accurate, relevant information far outweigh the costs of implementing the study. Will people’s wellbeing be maintained or improved? The initiative should result in implementation of projects more targeted to the needs of the campus and those who use the space. Is the integrity of the environment assured over the long term? Reductions in energy used for transportation and the correct investment in infrastructure will reduce the negative impact the campus has on the environment. Are engagement processes in place and working effectively? The project itself is a tool for enhancing the quality of public engagement.   CIVL 200, 2015, Lesson 4.2, Seven Questions for Sustainability. UBC Distance Education Course. Stonham, D., 2014, Enhancing Campus Transportation Monitoring, UBC SEEDS Program,   available at:  UBC Campus and Community Planning, October 2014, Transportation Plan. Available at:  University of Washington, 2015, “My Places” Study webpage. Available at Accessed 01 Dec 2015. References integrate demands over through gathered by like using a David Stonham, 2014  University of Washington, 2015 David Stonham, 2014 “Desire Lines” criss-crossing the campus are designed to let pedestrians walk precisely in the direction they want to travel minimising trip lengths and maximising the pleasure of walking. A screenshot of the UoW web mapping API “My Places” route submission page A portion of a campus map with route data generated during the GPS feasibility study 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 


Citation Scheme:


Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics



Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            async >
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:


Related Items