July 27, 2021

Glossary of terms used in mobility data intelligence

Glossary of terms used in mobility data intelligence
This blog post provides a comprehensive list of defined terms related to mobility data and geospatial intelligence for civic use cases
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Mobility Data
Data pertaining to the presence and movement of people, devices, automobiles, public transit, and moveable assets produced through normal activity

Crowdsourced Mobility Data
Information gathered from people who submit their GPS, Wi-Fi, and/or Bluetooth mobility data through Internet-connected apps on their smartphones

GPS Mobility Data
Data about the physical location or the latitude and the longitude of a mobile device obtained through satellites that are part of a radio-navigation network called the global positioning system or GPS

GPS Horizontal Accuracy
The radius of the margin of error of the measurement of a mobile device's physical location measured in meters

GPS Precision
The exactness of the physical location or the latitude and the longitude of a mobile device measured by the number of digits after the decimal point

Wi-Fi Mobility Data
Data about the physical location or the latitude and the longitude of a mobile device obtained through interactions with Wi-Fi access points

Bluetooth Mobility Data
Data about the physical location or the latitude and the longitude of a mobile device obtained through interactions with Bluetooth beacons

Mobile SDK
An embeddable software component integrated into a mobile application to provide specific functions and features like analytics, diagnostics, or advertising, while also collecting and transmitting data by using the device’s hardware, such as GPS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi

Mobility Data De-dupe
The process of searching for and eliminating duplicate or repeating data points or almost identical data points in crowdsourced mobility data

Mobility Data Coverage
The percentage of people within a city or a county that are represented in the crowdsourced mobility data, measured at a daily, weekly, and monthly frequency

Mobility Data Normalization
The process of adjusting the mobility data measurements to bring all of the attributes on the same scale to account for fluctuations in mobility data coverage

Spatiotemporal Cluster
A collection of data points related in space and in time that can be grouped as a distinct set for inferring mobility visits or further classification

Mobility Visits
The counts and patterns of people or mobile devices that were inferred to have been within a geofence

An automatically inferred or hand-drawn circular or polygonal virtual perimeter for a real-world geographic area such as a park, picnic area, hiking trail, camp ground, downtown district, or equity zone

Geotemporal Fence
A transient geofence with a pre-defined or automatically inferred lifespan measured in minutes, hours or days

Polygon Geofence
A flat, two-dimensional (2D) geofence shape with straight sides that is fully closed

Mobility Data API
An application programming interface is a set of functions that allows applications to access mobility data, inferences, and interact with microservices in the cloud

Mobility Data Visualization
The graphical representation of mobility data by using visual elements like maps, charts, graphs, and animations to see and understand trends, outliers, and patterns in data

Privacy Regulation
Regional regulation, national policy or state statute that enhances the privacy rights and protects the personal information of residents

California Consumer Privacy Act is a state-wide data privacy law that regulates how businesses all over the world are allowed to handle the personal information (PI) of California residents

General Data Protection Regulation is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy in the European Union and the European Economic Area

Personal Data Protection Act is the standard of protection for personal data in Singapore through various requirements governing the collection, use, disclosure and care of personal data

Census Demographic Data
National survey data sorted by characteristics such as age, gender, race, ethnicity, employment, occupation, income, housing, households, as well as by national, state, and regional location

Census Block Group
The smallest geographical unit for which the census bureau publishes sample data, i.e. data which is only collected from a fraction of all households within the area

Crime Incident
Geospatial data about crime incidents recorded by the local police authorities with a physical address or latitude and longitude marker for each incident

311 Incident
Geospatial data about 311 or non-emergency citizen services recorded by the local municipal authorities with a physical address or latitude and longitude marker for each incident

Building Permit
Geospatial data about building and engineering permits managed by the local municipal authorities with a physical address or latitude and longitude marker for each permit

Ground Truth Data
A term used in statistics and machine learning that means checking the results of machine learning for accuracy against the real world

Machine Learning or AIML
A branch of artificial intelligence and a method of data analysis that automates analytical model building  based on the idea that systems can learn from data, identify patterns and make decisions with minimal human intervention

Confidence Score
The probability measured between 0 and 1 of a prediction or an inference made by the machine

Confidence Score Threshold
The predetermined threshold below which the probability of a prediction or an inference made by the machine is considered to be unacceptable

Mobility Data Scale-up
The process of applying AIML to augment or increase the crowdsourced mobility data sample to more accurately represent the real world

Mobility Digital Survey
The process of surveying the built or unbuilt land area using current and historical crowdsourced mobility data to understand the movements and behavioral patterns of people in the real world

Mobility Digital Twin
A comprehensive and continuously evolving simulation or replica of the movement of people and assets in a complex, rapidly-changing urban built environment

Knowledge Graph
A knowledge base that uses a graph-structured data model within a graph database to store interlinked descriptions of entities, objects, events, situations or abstract concepts with free-form semantics

Server Instance
A virtual machine that runs workloads in the cloud

Server Cluster
A collection of server instances intentionally grouped to form a scalable unit that runs a series of workloads in the cloud

Cloud Storage
Computer data storage in which the digital data is stored in multiple servers in the cloud and accessed through an online browser-based interface or through the command line interface

Autonomous Vehicle (AV)
An automotive vehicle which does not require a driver or at least assists the driver depending on the level of automation

Demand-Responsive Transport (DRT)
A form of transport where vehicles adjust their routes and/or times based on a customer’s demand rather than using a fixed route and timetable

Demand responsive public transport (DRPT)
A sub-type of DRT where ride hailing services replace public transport buses in off-peak times or low demand areas in a public-private partnership

Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS)
Systems in which information and communication technologies (hardware and software) are applied in the field of road transport, infrastructure, vehicles and users, and in traffic and mobility management and other modes of transport to improve the efficiency of transport

Inter-modal Travel
Traveling using multiple means of transport such as car, shuttle, airplane, train, bus, scooter, during one trip to arrive at the destination

Last Mile
The distance between a trip’s starting or end point and the next public transport hub such as a train station or airport

Mass Rapid Transit (MRT)
High performance transport system system for transporting passengers in urban areas, mainly relying on rail systems, subway, underground or metro

Micro Transit / Micromobility
Short distance transport on the Last Mile which typically include walking, biking, requesting on-demand mini vans or using electric scooters

Mobility as a Service (MaaS)
A system in which a wide range of on-demand mobility options are integrated, curated, managed and billed by a Mobility Service Provider and provided to customers as a service, tailored to their needs

Mobility Hub
A dedicated location such as a sea port, airport, train station or subway station for switching modes of transport

Mobility Service Provider (MSP)
A public or private company that offer mobility services

Multi-modal Travel
Traveling which allows to select different means of transport for the same trip

Shared Mobility
Any mode of transport such as bikes, cars, electric scooters, buses, trains, airplanes which gets shared by multiple people

Smart City
A municipality that makes extensive use of information and communication technologies (ICT) to enhance urban services such as administration, energy, transportation and utilities

Urban Air Mobility (UAM)
Circumventing congested streets and using a city’s airspace for transport systems such as VTOL planes and drones, which should fly between widespread, small VertiPorts specifically dedicated to these vehicles

Urban Mobility
Mobility in cities and urban areas can be divided into freight transportation and the mobility of passengers, both via public and individualized transport

Airfield, heliport, helipad, droneport, or dronepad specifically designed for VTOL aircrafts, which don’t need a long runway to allow inner city air traffic with rather low land use.

Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL)
Aircrafts, which are able to start and land vertically without a runway

Electric Vertical Take Off and Landing (eVTOL)  
Autonomous, electric, flying drones (eVTOL) which are able to start and land vertically without a runway


CITYDATA.ai provides pattern-of-life mobility data + Ai for smart cities. CITYDATA knows the answers to the questions “how many people are in your city today” and “what are their movement patterns?”.

CITYDATA offers five main data-as-a-service products:

  1. CITYDASH: on-demand daily mobility insights for global cities across 60 countries
  2. CITYCHAT: mobile chatbot platform for citizen engagement and data sharing
  3. CITYFLOW: fleet tracking solution for cities, transportation and enterprise businesses
  4. CITYWORKS: mobile workforce management solution for cities and businesses
  5. CITYSDK: an embeddable component for cities to use in their mobile apps

Founded in 2020 in San Francisco, California, CITYDATA provides fresh, accurate, daily insights that are essential for smart city programs, economic development, urban planning, mobility and transportation, tourism, disaster impact analysis, sustainability and resilience.

You can reach the company via email at business@citydata.ai if you’d like to discuss your data needs and use cases. You can also follow the company on Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and the UniverCity.ai blog to stay updated on the newest innovations in mobility data + Ai.