Geographic age and gender representation in volunteered cycling safety data: A case study of

Colin Jay Ferster, Trisalyn Nelson, Meghan Winters, Karen Laberee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


There has been growing interest in using volunteered geographic information (VGI) for transportation planning, such as route data from fitness tracking applications and route mapping smartphone applications, as a compliment to traditional data collection approaches. In particular, cycling safety data from traditional sources are limited since bike crashes are under-reported and there are no central mechanisms for recording near misses. is a globally available website for cycling safety VGI, with a focus on spatial analyses of previously unrecorded near misses and collisions. The goal of this paper is to understand how age and gender are related to the use of compared to broader ridership and the geographic distribution of incidents for the Capital Regional District (CRD), British Columbia, Canada. Males aged 24–35 reported more incidents than other cohorts, which had similar relative proportions to the regional cycling population in origin-destination survey data. In general, there were higher levels of interaction with the website by younger people (i.e. submitting incidents vs. viewing incidents). Females and people under 35 years of age reported more incidents in central urban areas. People over 35 years of age reported incidents that were more spatially dispersed and covered a broader extent. These findings are indicative of both cycling behaviour and the use of technology. A target group for growth in cycling, females may benefit from improved cycling facilities in city centers. Older people may ride in cities more often if better facilities are provided. Understanding gaps in representation can help target more deliberate campaigns to complete data and inform the effective use of complementary data sources by planners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-150
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Geography
StatePublished - Nov 2017


  • Active transportation
  • Citizen science
  • Data informatics
  • Participation
  • Safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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