Research Publication

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Evaluating Global Positioning System (GPS) Data Usability for Freight Performance Measures

Date of Publication: 2017

Authored by: Saravanya Sankarakumaraswamy, Edward McCormack, Anne Goodchild, Mark Hallenbeck

Publication: Transportation Research Board 96th Annual Meeting - Transportation Research Board

Volume: 17-04053


Freight Performance Measures (FPM) are of interest to transportation planning agencies. One of the key tools that aids in the study of freight system activity is the data from Global Positioning System (GPS) devices located in trucks and cars. While commercially available GPS data has a common basic output format, the level of aggregation of the raw data, impacts the data’s ultimate usability and applications. This paper categorizes the different level of GPS data – from raw to highly aggregate and highlights the different strength, weakness, and applications of the data. Based on the insights learned from previous studies related to GPS data types, the authors make recommendations for how to match the GPS data to different analytical needs.

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