Visual Exploration of Utah Trajectory Data and their Applications in Transportation

Nikola Markovic, University of Utah


Transportation agencies have an opportunity to leverage massive GPS trajectory data to support their analyses and enhance their decision making. However, these data are typically purchased from vendors, which means that transportation agencies must understand their benefits before they decide to spend tens of thousands of dollars on data acquisition. To help transportation agencies better understand the tremendous value of trajectory data, the PI of the project will acquire Utah GPS trajectory data from one of the leading GPS data providers and conduct visual analyses demonstrating applications of trajectory data in various areas of transportation. The analyses will focus on (a) evaluating the data itself by exploring its spatial and temporal coverage, and on (b) using visual analytics to demonstrate potential use of trajectory data in planning, measuring mobility, public transit, and measuring performance. The results of the analyses will be communicated with transportation agencies to help them better understand the value of this type of mobility data in transportation system analyses. 


[3/30/2019] A major goal of this project is to demonstrate great value that massive GPS trajectory data could bring to the analysis and decision-making efforts at the Utah DOT (as well as other agencies). With this goal in mind, the PI has purchased 1 month of Utah trajectory data from INRIX, which include detailed information about 2.5 million trips that took place in Utah in September 2018 (i.e., 130 million recorded locations, 12 GB). The data is currently being processed and fused with other sources in order to facilitate various analysis planned for the remaining duration of the project. The PI believes that demonstrating specific use case scenarios of INRIX trajectory data, will help persuade UDOT to acquire similar data in the future and use it to enhance its decision making and analysis. The anticipated benefits include UDOT's ability to more accurately measure performance at the state level.

[9/30/2019] We have shared interactive visualizations with UDOT and scheduled follow up meeting to further discuss the potential of bringing INRIX trajectories into UDOT's decision making. We are also discussing the potential of using CATT Lab's visual analytics tools to help support UDOT's decision making. If these ideas materialize in the very near future, they will significantly impact the practice at UDOT.

Project Details

Project Type:
Small Starts
Project Status:
End Date:
November 30,2019
UTC Grant Cycle:
NITC 16 Small Starts 2018
UTC Funding: