Sensing Urban Patterns with Antenna Mappings: The Case of Santiago, Chile

Graells-Garrido, Eduardo; Peredo, Oscar; García, José
July 2016
Sensors (14248220);Jul2016, Vol. 16 Issue 7, p1098
Academic Journal
Mobile data has allowed us to sense urban dynamics at scales and granularities not known before, helping urban planners to cope with urban growth. A frequently used kind of dataset are Call Detail Records (CDR), used by telecommunication operators for billing purposes. Being an already extracted and processed dataset, it is inexpensive and reliable. A common assumption with respect to geography when working with CDR data is that the position of a device is the same as the Base Transceiver Station (BTS) it is connected to. Because the city is divided into a square grid, or by coverage zones approximated by Voronoi tessellations, CDR network events are assigned to corresponding areas according to BTS position. This geolocation may suffer from non negligible error in almost all cases. In this paper we propose “Antenna Virtual Placement” (AVP), a method to geolocate mobile devices according to their connections to BTS, based on decoupling antennas from its corresponding BTS according to its physical configuration (height, downtilt, and azimuth). We use AVP applied to CDR data as input for two different tasks: first, from an individual perspective, what places are meaningful for them? And second, from a global perspective, how to cluster city areas to understand land use using floating population flows? For both tasks we propose methods that complement or improve prior work in the literature. Our proposed methods are simple, yet not trivial, and work with daily CDR data from the biggest telecommunication operator in Chile. We evaluate them in Santiago, the capital of Chile, with data from working days from June 2015. We find that: (1) AVP improves city coverage of CDR data by geolocating devices to more city areas than using standard methods; (2) we find important places (home and work) for a 10% of the sample using just daily information, and recreate the population distribution as well as commuting trips; (3) the daily rhythms of floating population allow to cluster areas of the city, and explain them from a land use perspective by finding signature points of interest from crowdsourced geographical information. These results have implications for the design of applications based on CDR data like recommendation of places and routes, retail store placement, and estimation of transport effects from pollution alerts.


Related Articles

  • Santiago: Urban Grammar. Reuber, Paul // Canadian Architect;Sep2002, Vol. 47 Issue 9, p40 

    Deals with the urban planning of Santiago, Chile. History of the grid pattern of the city's streets; Description of the pedestrian network and its relationship with the buildings; Features of the barrios surrounding the central core of Santiago.

  • PAISAJE URBANO, SOSTENIBILIDAD E INMIGRACIÓN EN SANTIAGO DE CHILE. Castillo H., C.; Castillo O., M. // Revista LIDER;ene-jun2014, Vol. 24, p145 

    The bases of urban sustainability are structured over complexity, diversity and the mix of activities. However, in Chile, the development of urban landscape is driven by economic opportunity maneuvers that make urban structures. Besides, mobility, immigration and transculturation are building a...

  • Politics and Urban Growth in Santiago, Chile, 1891-1941. Barr-Melej, Patrick // American Historical Review;Apr2006, Vol. 111 Issue 2, p539 

    The article reviews the book "Politics and Urban Growth in Santiago, Chile, 1891-1941," Richard J. Walter.

  • Spatial research study of Peruvian immigrants in Santiago de Chile. Segovia, Aloisia Gomez // Geografski Zbornik / Acta Geographica Slovenica;2011, Vol. 51 Issue 1, p190 

    The article offers results of the social-spatial research study of Peruvian immigrants in the Chilean capital of Santiago de Chile. The permanent Peruvian immigration to Santiago started at the beginning of the 1990s, and has been quickly rising since 1995. Peruvians are, next to Argentineans,...

  • Urban Land Use and the Entrepreneurial State: A case study of Pudahuel, Santiago Chile during the Military Regime (1973-1989). Stackhouse, Jill // Journal of Latin American Geography;2009, Vol. 8 Issue 1, p99 

    During the Pinochet regime, the city of Santiago as elsewhere in Chile, was the locus of specific housing and urban development policies, policies that complemented the conservative economic objectives of the military dictatorship. This paper presents a case study of Pudahuel, a municipality in...

  • Map of the Way to Santiago -- The Portuguese Route.  // International Journal of Surgical Pathology;Jun2010 Supplement 3, Vol. 18 Issue S2, p216S 

    A map of Santiago, Spain is presented.

  • The Political Economy of Land Use Governance in Santiago, Chile and Its Implications for Class-Based Segregation. Cawley, Diego Gil Mc // Urban Lawyer;Winter2015, Vol. 47 Issue 1, p119 

    The article explores the political economic policies for land use governance in Santiago, Chile. Topics discussed include high levels of residential segregation along socioeconomic levels in the city; issues concerning Chile's land use legal practices; and ways in which urban land use decisions...

  • W Santiago.  // Travel & Leisure;Jun2010, Vol. 40 Issue 6, p173 

    A review is offered for the W Santiago hotel located in Santiago, Chile.

  • Flood risks in a dynamic urban agglomeration: a conceptual and methodological assessment framework. Müller, Annemarie // Natural Hazards;Feb2013, Vol. 65 Issue 3, p1931 

    The analysis of risk and its causes is a crucial prerequisite for the development of risk prevention and mitigation measures in the scope of disaster risk management. This paper investigates on the problem of annually occurring floods in Santiago de Chile applying a framework for risk...


    The article reports on the assistance given by the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) to the Radio Club de Chile (RCCH), a Chilean Member-Society in Santiago, Chile, following the damages caused by the earthquake on its headquarters (HQ) station's antenna system and building in February...


Other Topics