Discovering spatial and temporal patterns from taxi-based Floating Car Data: a case study from Nanjing

Jingwei Shen, Xintao Liu, Min Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Floating Car Data (FCD) refers to the trajectories of vehicles equipped with Global Positioning System-enabled devices that automatically record location-related data within a short time interval. As taxies in Chinese cities continually drive along the streets seeking passengers, FCD can easily traverse the entire street network in a city on a daily basis. Taking advantage of this situation, this study extracted passenger pickup and drop-off locations from FCD sourced from 6445 taxis over a 2-week period in Nanjing, China to discover human behavioral patterns and the dynamics behind them. In this study, road nodes are converted to the points, based on which Thiessen polygons are generated to divide the study area into small areas with the goal of exploring the spatial distribution of pickup and drop-off locations. Moran’s I index is used to calculate the spatial autocorrelation of the spatial distribution of pickup and drop-off locations, and hot spot analysis is used to identify statistically significant spatial clusters of hot and cold spots. The spatial and temporal patterns of FCD in the study area are investigated, and the results show that: (1) the temporal patterns show a strong daily rhythm, (2) the spatial patterns show that the number of pickup and drop-off locations gradually diminish from the downtown areas to the outer suburbs, (3) the spatiotemporal patterns exhibit large differences over time, and (4) the driving forces explored by regression models indicate that population density and transportation density are consistent with the population distribution, but per capita disposable income is not consistent with the population distribution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)617-638
Number of pages22
JournalGIScience and Remote Sensing
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sep 2017


  • Floating Car Data
  • hot spot analysis
  • Moran’s I index
  • spatial and temporal patterns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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