Sian Teesdale Bio

04 Nov 2022

2022 Winner of the Robin Flowerdew Award for Best Postgraduate Paper at the RGS-IBG Annual Conference

Sian Teesdale, University of Liverpool - “Origin-Destination Flows using GPS Probe Data”

Sian Teesdale

My name is Sian and I am a PhD student at the Geographic Data Science Lab, at the University of Liverpool. My research focuses on studying human mobility, using GPS traces from smartphones and vehicles. I am honoured to be the second recipient of the Robin Flowerdew award at the 2022 RGS-IBG conference. There were amazing presentations from the other postgraduate students, so I am thankful to the independent peer reviewers – Nick Bearman and Vikki Houlden – for selecting my research for this award.

My presentation, entitled “Origin-Destination Flows using GPS Probe Data”, focused on exploring origin-destination patterns seen across the San Francisco Bay Area. Because GPS traces are a new source of data, I compared them against another source to verify the validity of my observations. As one of the most prominent sources of origin-destination employment data for the United States, LODES (Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Origin-Destination Employment Statistics) was used as a comparison to my GPS trace data. The presentation included an explanation of how the LODES dataset was converted from census blocks to H3 hexagonal grids and the results of the comparison between the two datasets. I explored the connections between origin and destination area zone designations (figure below), interflows, and intraflows between H3 hexcells.

Figure from the paper

The presentation, despite showing preliminary early results, attracted an engaging Q&A from the audience, with many suggestions and discussions around this presentation. I have now completed this chapter, and I am working towards the final chapter of my thesis. I wanted to thank HERE Technologies for providing me with the data to complete this analysis, and my supervisors Alex Singleton and Alessia Calafiore for their support throughout this research.