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      Ethnic differences in activity spaces as a characteristic of segregation: A study based on mobile phone usage in Tallinn, Estonia

      1 , 1 , 1 , 2 , 2
      Urban Studies
      SAGE Publications

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          Understanding individual human mobility patterns

          Despite their importance for urban planning, traffic forecasting, and the spread of biological and mobile viruses, our understanding of the basic laws governing human motion remains limited thanks to the lack of tools to monitor the time resolved location of individuals. Here we study the trajectory of 100,000 anonymized mobile phone users whose position is tracked for a six month period. We find that in contrast with the random trajectories predicted by the prevailing Levy flight and random walk models, human trajectories show a high degree of temporal and spatial regularity, each individual being characterized by a time independent characteristic length scale and a significant probability to return to a few highly frequented locations. After correcting for differences in travel distances and the inherent anisotropy of each trajectory, the individual travel patterns collapse into a single spatial probability distribution, indicating that despite the diversity of their travel history, humans follow simple reproducible patterns. This inherent similarity in travel patterns could impact all phenomena driven by human mobility, from epidemic prevention to emergency response, urban planning and agent based modeling.
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            Living with difference: reflections on geographies of encounter

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              Motility: mobility as capital

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Urban Studies
                Urban Studies
                SAGE Publications
                0042-0980
                1360-063X
                October 06 2015
                November 2015
                September 22 2014
                November 2015
                : 52
                : 14
                : 2680-2698
                Affiliations
                [1 ]University of Tartu, Estonia
                [2 ]Ghent University, Belgium
                Article
                10.1177/0042098014550459
                8da9c15f-b375-4cc1-b8f7-6fa32abdaa58
                © 2015

                http://journals.sagepub.com/page/policies/text-and-data-mining-license

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