Mobile Phone Data to Describe Urban Practices: An Overview in the Literature

  • Paola PucciEmail author
  • Fabio Manfredini
  • Paolo Tagliolato
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Applied Sciences and Technology book series (BRIEFSAPPLSCIENCES)


This chapter focuses on the potentialities offered by mobile phone data in reading the site practices and rhythms of usage of the contemporary city, providing a research framework of the most promising approaches. Research approaches using ICT and aggregated cellular network log files to identify fine-grained variations in urban movements are presented to argue how mobile phone data can be treated as a useful source of information on the real use of cities. Because of the pervasiveness guaranteed by the ubiquity of mobile phone networks, this chapter shows how these datasets can overcome limitations in the detection of latency, typical of traditional data sources , while also providing valuable information on temporary urban populations . Referring to the outcomes of research on passive and anonymous monitoring of cell phone traffic (i.e. Social Positioning Method , Mobile Landscape and Real Time Monitoring, Automated Land Use Identification), we illustrate the potential and the challenges of these data source in complementing more traditional survey methods.


Mobile phone data Tracking technologies ICT Mobile landscapes Social Positioning Method 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paola Pucci
    • 1
    Email author
  • Fabio Manfredini
    • 1
  • Paolo Tagliolato
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Architecture and Urban StudiesPolitecnico di MilanoMilanItaly
  2. 2.Istituto per il Rilevamento Elettromagnetico dell’Ambiente (IREA)CNRMilanItaly
  3. 3.Istituto di Scienze Marine (ISMAR)CNRVeniceItaly

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