Mapping human population - a data science approach

Institute for Transport Studies (ITS) research seminar with speaker Martijn Tennekes, Data Scientist at Dutch Office for National Statistics (CBS) and Visiting Researcher at Oxford e-Research Centre.

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Where do people live? How do they commute? Where and when do they go on holiday? These are typical questions that are important for national statistical institutes. Whereas in the past, survey data and classical (frequentist) statistical inference were used to produce such statistics, nowadays, a variety of methods from Bayesian statistical inference and machine learning are applied, using a mix of administrative data and big data. Furthermore, data visualization is increasingly important to analyse the results and present them to the general public. In this presentation, I illustrate this new trend in official statistics with two research projects that are related to mapping human population. 

Mobile phone network data can be used to estimate where people are during the day. In contrast to census data, which contains information about where people live, the 'nighttime' population, mobile phone network data opens up the possibility to estimate the 'daytime' population. A key challenge is to develop general methodology for using mobile phone network data. I will zoom in on one specific task, namely how to estimate the geographical location of a mobile phone, and present an Bayesian approach to solve this. 

Today, statistics can be produced with much more spatial detail. An innovative visualization method that can be used to present spatial statistics is the dot map, in which every person is represented by a dot. I illustrate the dot map with some examples and describe the used methodology and software to create the dot map. 

Bio: I have a Masters in knowledge engineering (now called data science) and a PHD in game theory (Maastricht University). I am currently working at Statistics Netherlands ('the Dutch ONS') as data scientist on data visualization, statistical programming, and the use of big data for official statistics and I am a Visiting Researcher at Oxford e-Research Centre.

Institute for Transport Studies Research Seminar Series: Our seminar series is for anyone interested in the latest transport research. Presented by members of the Institute and guest speakers, the programme is designed to stimulate cross-disciplinary conversations across a range of transport and mobility research areas. The short seminars will be followed by a discussion. The remainder of the session will be a chance to meet up and network. No booking required.