Journal of Geographical Systems

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 191–216

Open source, spatial analysis, and activity-travel behaviour research: capabilities of the aspace package

Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10109-008-0063-7

Cite this article as:
Buliung, R.N. & Remmel, T.K. J Geograph Syst (2008) 10: 191. doi:10.1007/s10109-008-0063-7


This paper reports on recent experience with the development of aspace, an Open Source (OS) library for the geographic visualization and analysis of activity-travel behaviour. The paper begins with an overview of recent progress with respect to the convergence of Open Source technology, spatial analysis, and travel behaviour research. The remainder of the paper focuses on aspace; a collection of functions that, when combined with data describing the geographical location of daily activities, can be used to visualize and describe spatial properties of individual and household activity spaces. These properties include: size, orientation, shape, and the geographical dispersion of activity locations contained within the activity space. Several planar geometries are used to transform measurable spatial properties into intuitive objects for visualizing spatial patterns of activity participation. Experiments are conducted, using data from the first wave of the 2003 Toronto Travel Activity Panel Survey, to demonstrate the potential application of aspace for basic and applied policy-based research into activity-travel behaviour. The toolkit is distributed as a downloadable ‘package’ from the Open Source R Project for Statistical Computing.


Spatial analysis Spatial statistics Activity-travel behaviour Centrographics Home range ecology Open source software Urban form 

JEL Classification Codes

C10 C80 C88 R20 R41 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of Toronto at MississaugaMississaugaCanada
  2. 2.Department of GeographyYork UniversityTorontoCanada

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