Sensing and Predicting the Pulse of the City through Shared Bicycling

City-wide urban infrastructures are increasingly reliant on network technology to improve and ex-pand their services. As a side effect of this digitali-zation, large amounts of data can be sensed and analyzed to uncover patterns of human behavior. In this paper, we focus on the digital footprints from one type of emerging urban infrastructure: shared bicycling systems. We provide a spatiotemporal analysis of 13 weeks of bicycle station usage from Barcelona's shared bicycling system, called Bicing. We apply clustering techniques to identify shared behaviors across stations and show how these behaviors relate to location, neighborhood, and time of day. We then compare experimental results from four predictive models of near-term station usage. Finally, we analyze the impact of factors such as time of day and station activity in the prediction capabilities of the algorithms.

Jon Edward Froehlich, Joachim Neumann, Nuria Oliver