Search for a global positioning system device to measure person travel

Peter Stopher, Camden FitzGerald, Jun Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

181 Scopus citations


In the late 1990s, global positioning system (GPS) devices began to be used as a method for measuring personal travel. Early devices were for in-vehicle use only and derived their power from the accessory socket of the car. In the early 2000s, the first wearable devices appeared, using battery power from rechargeable batteries. The early wearable devices were heavy and ungainly, and success in having people use the devices was limited. In 2005, the Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies (ITLS) and NeveITS pioneered the use of a much smaller device with its own internal battery, similar in weight and dimensions to a mobile telephone. Subsequent to the initial deployment of this device, there have been further advances in the sensitivity of the antenna/receiver and we have developed with NeveITS a number of improvements to software. Most recently, another device called a Starnav, has been developed for ITLS in Taiwan, and offers further sophistication and user friendliness than the Neve devices. This paper describes these GPS devices and demonstrates the capability of these devices to provide detailed and accurate data on travel movements. We provide a brief description of the software we have developed and continue to improve for analysing the resulting data. The latest technologies for GPS devices indicate the potential to replace many conventional methods of data collection that are flawed because of known errors and inaccuracies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)350-369
Number of pages20
JournalTransportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Data processing
  • Global positioning system (GPS)
  • Travel survey
  • Trip identification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Computer Science Applications


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