Networks and Spatial Economics

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 643–659 | Cite as

Place Rank: Valuing Spatial Interactions

  • Ahmed El-Geneidy
  • David Levinson


Accessibility measures the potential of opportunities for interaction. This paper proposes and explores a new flow-based measure, “place rank” using origin-destination information. Both impedance and value of opportunities are embedded in the dataset that includes the origin and destination of each person within the studied region. Individuals contribute to the place rank at their destination (work) zone with a power that depends on the attractiveness of the zone of origin. In this paper we demonstrate this place rank measure for three activities (Jobs, Resident Workers, and Health Services) in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan region and Jobs in Montréal, Canada. We compare place rank to traditional measures of accessibility. Since place rank is based on actual choices of origins and destinations it is a measure of realized rather than potential opportunities, and so unlike accessibility measures. Also it does not require the knowledge of travel time between all origins and destinations.


Accessibility Mobility Gravity based Cumulative opportunity Land use Place rank PageRank 



This work was funded by the Minnesota Department of Transportation as part of the Access to Destinations project. The authors would like to thank Mark Filipi, Transportation Forecast/Analyst at the Metropolitan Council, for providing the travel time matrix and other data used in the study. Also thanks are given to Kris Nelson and Jeffrey Matson for providing the LEHD data used in the analysis. The authors would like to thank Assumpta Cerda for her help in generating the Montréal measures. Also thanks should be given to Mr. Pierre Tremblay from MTQ who provided the travel time data. Thanks to Daniel Bergeron from the AMT for providing the Montréal OD survey used in generating the impedance factors for gravity and inverse balancing factor measures for the Montréal case study. The Montréal case study was part of a bigger project funded by the Ministry of Transport of Quebec. The authors would like to especially thank Mohamed Mokbel, Assistant Professor Computer Science Department, University of Minnesota for his help in programming the place rank measure. Finally, the authors would like to thank Aura Reggiani, Juan Carlos Martin, and the anonymous reviewers for comments on earlier drafts of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Urban PlanningMcGill UniversityMontréalCanada
  2. 2.Department of Civil EngineeringUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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