Albertslund Municipality in Denmark is using Telia Crowd Insights as a tool to understand commuter travel patterns and needs.
Crowd Insight is an analysis tool that reveals crowd movement patterns from anonymised and aggregated mobile network data. The tool has been developed by Telia and being used by municipalities across Scandinavia. Albertslund municipality is now conducting trials to see how Telia Crowd Insights can be used and who in the municipality it can provide value for.
In Albertslund municipality, it is traffic and building planners in particular that use the tool. Previously, they have conducted traffic analyses manually, by counting or via questionnaires. However, with Crowd Insights, the thought is that it will be possible to regularly compile rapid overviews of movement patterns in the town. For example, this can be used to examine developments in relation to the type of visitors who come to Albertslund. As Albertslund is a municipality that is close to the capital, it is particularly relevant for them to find out how many people travel out of the municipality. This is interesting in relation to planning, mobility solutions, reduction of CO2 within transport solutions and many other issues. Crowd Insights also provide a good overview of movement patterns in the town.
Crowd Insights can indicate how much activity there is in an area within the municipality. The areas are divided into sectors of 500 x 500 metres. A person must be within the same area for a minimum of 20 minutes for this to count as an activity. On the chart, it is possible to see areas with the greatest amount of activity.
Crowd Insight is GDPR compliant, as it deals only with anonymised, aggregated data. Therefore, it is not possible to go into fine detail about the types of traffic users being registered. “It would be an advantage if it was possible to dig a little deeper into the details of the various types of traffic user, so that it would be possible to, for example, see where cyclists come from and which cycle paths they use. The tool is not quite developed for this yet”, says Urban Technology and Development Adviser Helene Qvist from Albertslund municipality.
One advantage of the tool is that it is possible to make comparisons with historical data, so it is possible to see how many have been in the area at other times of the year – or at the same time in previous years. In addition, it generates a list of which municipalities people come from. Crowd Insights can generate before-and-after overviews, which can be useful in town planning.
Telia Crowd Insights can do a great deal; however, it can also be challenging to use for people in the municipality who are not used to working with data. “It is an interesting journey, but it will take time, as it is a new way of working. It is therefore important to start by making it clear what your requirements are, as it involves a huge amount of data”, says Helene Qvist.
Albertslund municipality has now used Crowd Insights for almost four months of an eight-month trial period. They are already gaining useful insights and supports planning tasks more rapid and granular data. Albertslund municipality has, among other things, obtained surprising information about exactly how many people use their municipality, despite them originating from many other places in the country.
Read more (in Danish) here