An analysis of the factors influencing differences in survey-reported and GPS-recorded trips

Stacey G. Bricka, Sudeshna Sen, Rajesh Paleti, Chandra R. Bhat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Recent advances in global positioning systems (GPS) technology have resulted in a transition in household travel survey methods to test the use of GPS units to record travel details, followed by the application of an algorithm to both identify trips and impute trip purpose, typically supplemented with some level of respondent confirmation via prompted-recall surveys. As the research community evaluates this new approach to potentially replace the traditional survey-reported collection method, it is important to consider how well the GPS-recorded and algorithm-imputed details capture trip details and whether the traditional survey-reported collection method may be preferred with regards to some types of travel. This paper considers two measures of travel intensity (survey-reported and GPS-recorded) for two trip purposes (work and non-work) as dependent variables in a joint ordered response model. The empirical analysis uses a sample from the full-study of the 2009 Indianapolis regional household travel survey. Individuals in this sample provided diary details about their travel survey day as well as carried wearable GPS units for the same 24-h period. The empirical results provide important insights regarding differences in measures of travel intensities related to the two different data collection modes (diary and GPS). The results suggest that more research is needed in the development of workplace identification algorithms, that GPS should continue to be used alongside rather than in lieu of the traditional diary approach, and that assignment of individuals to the GPS or diary survey approach should consider demographics and other characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-88
Number of pages22
JournalTransportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Computer Science Applications


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