Inferring High‑Resolution Individual’s Activity and Trip Purposes with the Fusion of Social Media, Land Use and Connected Vehicle Trajectories

Inferring Individual’s activity and trip purposes is critical for transportation and travel behavior. State-of-Art trip purpose inference is conducted by geographic information systems (GIS) and land use data. However, there exist two major challenges: (1) how to identify accurate trip purposes in a high business density area with various possibilities of activities. (2) how to recognize high-resolution activities, which are much more than typical trip purposes (home, work, recreation, personal business, education, etc.) in existing literature. Nowadays, the thriving growth of social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, provides a new opportunity to extract crowdsourced data. Transportation authorities have also begun to identify social media data as another data source for transportation informatics. The advantage of social media is that passive activity information as well as time and location can be retrieved in real time with relatively small building and maintenance costs. The objective of this project is, as a first attempt, to prove the concept that social media, combined with existing land use data and Connected Vehicle (CV) trajectories, can infer individual’s high-resolution activity and trip purposes information. In order to accomplish this goal, a 15-month project is defined in this proposal with a multidisciplinary team assembled with two principal investigators (PIs) from transportation engineering and computer science, respectively. To accomplish the objective, first, the study will conduct a comprehensive literature review of previous studies in social media analytics and trip purpose inferences. Second, the research will develop machine learning models to retrieve travel related tweets and label geo information for tweets without geo-tags. Third, the project team will leverage a keyword-search approach to identify major public events and people’s gathering for public activities. Fourth, individual’s activities will be derived by deep learning and topic modeling. Fifth, the trip segments will be derived from Connected Vehicle trajectories and will be labeled with activities from both social media and land use data using topic modeling and WordNet, a popular lexical database. The proposed models will be finally evaluated with recently released 2 month CV data from 3000 equipped vehicles in Michigan CV safety pilot, the land use data, and the corresponding Tweeter data. With the consideration of emerging social media and CV technologies, this research closely aligns with University Transportation Research Center's (UTRC’s) Focus Area 4: “System modernization through the implementation of advanced and information technologies”, together with Focus Area 7: “Promoting livable and sustainable communities through the quality of life improvements and diverse transportation development”. This work will also contribute to U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) strategic goals of “Economic Competitiveness” and “Quality of Life in Communities”. In the near future, the project team will work closely with the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) and New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC), and implement developed models in newly established NYC CV test bed. The results will be disseminated to transportation authorities through webinars or workshops for workforce training. Also, the project team will develop K-12 hands-on projects in PI He’s National Summer Transportation Institute (NSTI), funded by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in the last consecutive three years since 2013.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $156,459
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    University Transportation Research Center

    City College of New York
    Marshak Hall, Suite 910, 160 Convent Avenue
    New York, NY  United States  10031
  • Managing Organizations:

    State University of New York, Buffalo

    212 Ketter Hall
    Buffalo, NY  United States  14260
  • Project Managers:

    Eickemeyer, Penny

  • Performing Organizations:

    State University of New York, Buffalo

    212 Ketter Hall
    Buffalo, NY  United States  14260
  • Principal Investigators:

    He, Dr. Qing

    Gao, Jing

  • Start Date: 20160901
  • Expected Completion Date: 20171130
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01626418
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: University Transportation Research Center
  • Contract Numbers: 49198-46-28
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Feb 24 2017 2:02PM