Modelling Home and Work Locations of Populations Using Passive Mobile Positioning Data

  • Rein Ahas
  • Siiri Silm
  • Erki Saluveer
  • Olle Järv
Part of the Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography book series (LNGC)


The article introduces a model that uses passive mobile positioning data to determine respondents’ home and work anchor point locations. Passive mobile positioning data is secondary data concerning the location of call activities or hand-overs in network cells, which is automatically stored in the log files of service providers. This data source offers good potential for monitoring of the short-term mobility of populations, since mobile phones are widespread, and similar standardised data can be used around the globe. We developed the model and tested it with 12 months’ data collected by Estonia’s largest mobile service provider EMT, covering more than 0.5 million anonymous respondents. Modelling results were compared with population register data; this revealed that the developed model described the geography of the population relatively well, and can hence be used as a quantitative source in the study of population geography or for developing location-based services.


population geography mobile positioning location-based services anchor points modelling 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rein Ahas
    • 1
  • Siiri Silm
    • 1
  • Erki Saluveer
    • 1
  • Olle Järv
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of TartuEstonia

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