Mobility Conceived as Temporal Variability of Spatial Presence

By Hadrien Commenges

The Household Travel Survey (HTS) is an instrument created in the United States in the 1940s and imported to France in the late 1950s. The HTS remains the main method of measuring daily mobility, and it still has the original conceptual data model, described here as trip-based. This paper aims to dissect this data model to highlight the way it shapes questions, analyses and interpretations in a trip-based approach. The paper is structured by three stages: a detailed analysis of the traditional HTS conceptual data model, a proposal for its transformation into a conceptual model described as’sequential’, and finally a case study which compares the results of two parallel analyses conducted using the traditional trip-based approach and the proposed sequential data model respectively. The comparison highlights the complementarity of the two approaches in conceiving mobility as both movement in space and temporal variability of spatial presence.

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