Mobile Tartu 2024 Conference Programme


The conference keynote speeches and panel discussions will be broadcasted.

Link for broadcast:

The schedule for live broadcasts:   

12 June at 4:00–5:30 PM – conference opening and Rein Ahas Lecture by Prof Jukka Krisp (Augsburg University, Visiting Professor at the University of Tartu)  
13 June at 9:00–10:00 AM – keynote speech by Prof Nico Van de Weghe (Ghent University)  
13 June at 4:30–6:00 PM – keynote speech by Assoc Prof Anu Masso (Tallinn Technical University) and a panel discussion on AI in mobility research   
14 June at 10:00–11:00 AM – keynote speech by Dr Robin Lovelace (University of Leeds/Active Travel England)  
14 June at 2:40–4:00 PM – panel discussion on understanding accessibility and socio-spatial disparities with mobile big data and conference closing  

We want to let you know that the event organisers may need to adjust the event program if circumstances require.

11 June PhD School Outside of Tartu

11.00-12.00PhD School Opening and morning coffee
12.00-13.00PhD School Lecture by Prof Kristjan Vassil (University of Tartu)
Sensors, data, and decisions: The next generation of predictive public services
14.00-16.004 Parallel Workshops
16.00-16.30Coffee break
16.30-17.15Public Sector Lecture by Grigori Parfjonov (Tallinn Transport Department)
Transport Data as the Key to Social Engineering
17.15-18.00Private Sector Lecture by Joonas Puura (Bolt)
Data-Driven Mobility: Improving Trip Experience with Location Data at Bolt
18.00-21.00Dinner and Social Event

12 June PhD School & Conference

9.00-9.30Morning Coffee
9.30-12.00PhD School Parallel Workshops
13.00-15.00PhD School Workshops
13.45-15.15Tartu City Bike Tour
15.00-16.00Conference Registration
16.00-16.30Conference Opening

Age Poom (University of Tartu)

Kstina Noormets (University of Tartu, Director of Administration)

Jiri Tintera (Tartu City Government, City Architect)
16.30-17.30Rein Ahas Lecture by Prof Jukka Krisp (University of Augsburg/University of Tartu)
Location Based Services – conceptual perspectives for mobility research, navigation, and wayfinding

Session Chair: Age Poom (University of Tartu)
17.30-18.00Welcome Drinks and Snacks
18.00-18.40Poster Session – Human Mobility Analysis for Advancing Just and Sustainable Futures
18.40-20.00Paper Sessions – 1A & 1B

Session 1A – Advancing the methodologies for population mobility studies and official statistics

Session chair: Olle Järv (University of Helsinki)

Erki Saluveer (Positium), Margus Tiru (Positium), Florabela Carausu (GOPA Worldwide Consultants), Kadri Arrak (Positium), Loredana Di Consiglio (Italian Statistical Institute – ISTAT), Matthias Offermans (Statistics Netherlands – CBS), Miguel Picornell (Nommon Solutions and Technologies), Ricardo Herranz (Nommon Solutions and Technologies), Tiziana Tuoto (Italian Statistical Institute – ISTAT), Villem Tonnison (Positium) –
A processing pipeline for European official statistics: towards standardisation of mobile network operator data processing

Anto Aasa (University of Tartu), Jürgen Öövel (University of Tartu) –
Beauty contest of activity spaces. Comparison of five different methods

Kamil Smolak (Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences), Luca Papplardo (ISTI-CNR), Katarzyna Sila-Nowicka (The University of Auckland), Vanessa Brum-Bastos (University of Canterbury) –
Revisiting temporal scales of human mobility

Yeray Cara Santana (Complutense University of Madrid), Borja, Moya Gómez (Complutense University of Madrid), Juan Carlos (Complutense University of Madrid), García Palomares (Complutense University of Madrid) –
Spatial clustering strategies for analysing urban mobility dynamics

Session 1B – Urban travel environments and greenery in support of active mobility 

Session chair: Tuuli Toivonen (University of Helsinki)

Elias Willberg (University of Helsinki), Robert Klein (University of Helsinki), Christoph Fink (University of Helsinki), Roope Heinonen (University of Helsinki), Tuuli Toivonen (University of Helsinki) –
Access to green travel in Europe – Comparison across 43 large cities

Maarten Hogeweij (Radboud University) –
Physiologically vulnerable pedestrians’ exposure to heat stress in four cities in the Netherlands

J Rafael Verduzco-Torres (University of Glasgow), Michael Sinclair (University of Glasgow) –
Exploring accessibility to urban green spaces: A novel approach using spatial interaction models and mobile app data

Age Poom (University of Tartu), Mairit Saar (University of Tartu), Kaarel Tigane (Estonian University of Life Sciences), Daiga Paršova (University of Tartu), Kairi Kreegipuu (University of Tartu), Kristian Pentus (University of Tartu), Andres Kuusik (University of Tartu) –
Does seasonality matter? Measuring pedestrian perception of seasonal greenery and soundscapes in walking environments

13 June : PhD School & Conference

8.30-9.00Morning coffee and registration
9.00-10.00Keynote Speech by Prof Nico Van de Weghe (Ghent University)
Exploring Possibilities: generative AI in human mobility research

Session Chair: Erki Saluveer (Positium)
10.00-11.40Paper Sessions – 2A & 2B

Session 2A – Understanding active mobility through advanced tools and policy approaches

Session chair: Karl Samuelsson (University of Gävle)

Andres Sevtsuk (MIT), Abdulaziz Alhassan (MIT), Rounaq Basu (MIT), Liu Liu (MIT), Maryam Hosseini (MIT) –
Foot-traffic in New York: a model of pedestrian volumes on the city’s sidewalk network

Avital Angel (Technion-Israel Institute of Technology), Achituv Cohen (University of California), Trisalyn Nelson (University of California), Pnina Plaut (Technion-Israel Institute of Technology) –
Walking on sunshine: studying street-level walkability using mobile app data and machine learning techniques

Ayda Grisiute (ETH Zurich), Martin Raubal (ETH Zurich)
Cognitive route planning: Leveraging graph-based methods and movement data to align perceived and objective environments in cycling routes

Jordi Grau (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya/Fundació Eurecat), Aleix, Bassolas (Fundació Eurecat), Julian Vicens (Fundació Eurecat) –
Electric and mechanical bike usage dynamics in Barcelona’s bike-sharing system: a predictive maintenance perspective

Karl Saidla (University of Tartu), Elias Willberg (University of Helsinki), Bryan Vallejo ( Aalto University), Siiri Silm (University of Tartu), Age Poom (University of Tartu) –
Policy for bike share success in cities big and small: Helsinki, Finland, and Tartu, Estonia

Session 2B – Understanding population mobility flows for crisis management

Session chair: Siim Esko (Positium)

Ago Tominga (University of Tartu), Henrik Veenpere (Estonian Rescue Board), Siiri Silm (University of Tartu) –
What population statistics crisis managers actually need? Calculating indicators based on four years of mobile positioning data

Bilgecag Aydogdu (Utrecht University), Albert Ali Salah (Utrecht University), Subhi Gunes (Turkcell Technology) –
The role of social connections in crisis-driven migration and mobility behaviour

Rodgers Iradukunda (University of Liverpool), Francisci Rowe (University of Liverpool), Elisabetta Pietrostefani (University of Liverpool)
Using smartphone GPS data to explore internal population displacement during the early months of the Russia-Ukraine conflict

Egor Kotov (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research/Universitat Pompeu Fabra), Frederic Bartumeus (Centre d’Estudis Avançats de Blanes/Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats), John Palmer (Universitat Pompeu Fabra) –
Effects of human mobility on the spread of disease-transmitting mosquitoes in Spain: Insights from mobile phone data
13.00-14.40Paper Sessions – 3A & 3B

Session 3A – Mobile big data in tourism and cross-border commuting research

Session chair: Ate Poorthuis (KU Leuven)

Olle Järv (University of Helsinki), Håvard W. Aagesen (University of Helsinki), Ate Poorthuis (KU Leuven) –
Understanding cross-border regions in Europe from the mobility of people: Insights from Big Data

Oleksandr Karasov (University of Helsinki), Olle Järv (University of Helsinki), Kamyar Hasanzadeh (University of Helsinki) –
Understanding temporal variations in activity spaces of cross-border commuters from social media in the Greater Region of Luxembourg

Tuomas Väisänen (University of Helsinki), Olle Järv (University of Helsinki), Michaela Söderholm (University of Helsinki) –
Is long-distance commuting dead in Europe after COVID-19? Insights from georeferenced social media data

Kamil Choromański (Warsaw University of Technology), Mariusz Ciesielski (Forest Research Institute), Karolina Taczanowska (University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna) –
Spatial big data perspective on forest tourism in Poland based on floating car data

Janika Raun (University of Tartu/University of Helsinki), Olle Järv (University of Helsinki), Tatu Leppämäki (University of Helsinki), Tuuli Toivonen (University of Helsinki) –
Understanding changes of visitors in national parks from mobile data: the COVID-19 short- and long-term influence

Session 3B – Special NECTAR session: Transport information extraction from mobile big data

Session chair: Luc Wismans (University of Twente) & Siiri Silm (University of Tartu)

Marina Toger (Uppsala University), Liel David (Weizmann Institute of Science), Eran Ben-Elia (Ben-Gurion University), Dan Vilenchik (Ben-Gurion University) –
Privacy-sensitive approach for sparse reconstruction of users’ points-of-interest and route trajectories from mobile phone data using a Hidden Markov Model

Zachary Strain-Fajth (Flowminder Foundation), Roland Hosner (Flowminder Foundation), Véronique Lefebvre (Flowminder Foundation) –
Using survey data to correct for representation biases in mobility indicators derived from mobile operator data to produce high-frequency estimates of population and internal mobility

Raquel Sánchez-Cauce (Nommon Solutions and Technologies), Oliva G. Cantú Ros (Nommon Solutions and Technologies), Pablo Ruiz (Nommon Solutions and Technologies), Javier Burrieza-Galán (Nommon Solutions and Technologies) –
Identification and characterisation of delivery trips from mobile network and logistic operator data

Gerard Franco Panades (Servei Català de Trànsit/CARNET Barcelona/Technical University of Catalonia), Lluís Jofre-Roca (CommSensLab-UPC), Laia Pagès Giralt (CARNET Barcelona), Oscar Llatje Hierro (Servei Català de Trànsit) –
Detecting road accidents through deep learning models trained on GPS speed data

Lennert Verhulst (Ghent University), Corneel Casier (Ghent University), Frank Witlox (Ghent University) –
Street closures, shared mobility and their potential travel behaviour effects: an agent-based simulation approach
14.40-16.00PhD School Workshop Presentations

Session chair: Ago Tominga (University of Tartu)
16.00-16.30Coffee break
16.30-17.15Keynote Speech by Assoc Prof Anu Masso (Tallinn University of Technology)
Mobility Data Justice: Estonian Data Manifesto

Session Chair: Anto Aasa (University of Tartu)
17.15-18:00Panel Discussion Advancing human mobility research with AI

Moderator: Anto Aasa (University of Tartu)

Nico Van de Weghe (Ghent University)

Anu Masso (Tallinn University of Technology)

Erki Saluveer (Positium)
19.00-22.00Conference Dinner @ Kolm Tilli

14 June : PhD School & Conference

8.30-10.00Morning Coffee and Registration
9.00-10.00PhD School Reflections (only for PhD School participants)
10.00-11.00Keynote Speech by Dr Robin Lovelace (University of Leeds/Active Travel England)
Reproducible research and open tools for future-proof transport planning

Session Chair: Henrikki Tenkanen (Aalto University)
11.00-12.30Paper Sessions 4A & 4B

Session 4A –Accessibility to public transit and shared mobility

Session chair: Elias Willberg (University of Helsinki)

Ate Poorthuis (KU Leuven) –
A standardized dataset for comprehensive national analysis of public transportation accessibility in Belgium and the Netherlands

Eirik Melaa Skjelsvik (Norwegian University of Technology and Science), John Östh (OsloMET) –
The modifiable temporal unit problem in public transport equity evaluations

Martin Haamer (University of Tartu), Age Poom (University of Tartu), Anto Aasa (University of Tartu) –
Student movement flows between university campuses in Tartu based on individual timetables

Henrikki Tenkanen (Aalto University), Ngoc Chau (Aalto University), Subhrasankha Dey (Aalto University), Newsha Modjrian (Aalto University), César Marin Flores (Aalto University) –
Big data-driven scenario tools for estimating carbon-reduction potential of transport

Session 4B – Daily use of urban space: understanding mobility and segregation with mobile big data

Session chair: Marina Toger (Uppsala University)

Kerli Müürisepp (University of Helsinki), Matti Manninen (University of Helsinki), Venla Bernelius (Ministry of Education and Culture), Tiit Tammaru (University of Tartu), Tuuli Toivonen (University of Helsinki), Olle Järv (University of Helsinki) –
Spatial integration or isolation? Residential communities’ daily use of urban space in Helsinki based on mobile phone data

Siiri Silm (University of Tartu), Veronika Mooses (University of Tartu), Ago Tominga (University of Tartu) –
Ethnic exposure in activity places – a study with GPS and survey data

Karl Samuelsson (University of Gävle), Anders Brandt, Stephan Barthel (University of Gävle), Noah Linder (Royal Swedish Academy of Science), Nancy Joy Lim (University of Gävle), David Hallman (University of Gävle), Matteo Giusti (University of Surrey) –
Diverse experiences by active travel for carbon neutrality: Longitudinal study reveals a persistent discrepancy across residential contexts

Olena Dominika Holubowska (KU Leuven), Ate Poorthuis (KU Leuven) –
Spaces of diversity: The relation between amenities and mixing among residents with varied income and migration backgrounds in Auckland
14.00-14.40Session 5AThe spatial, digital, and temporal dimensions in mobility and urbanity

Session chair: Kerli Müürisepp (University of Helsinki)

Luc Wismans (University of Twente), Karst Geurs (University of Twente), Mehmet Baran Ulak (University of Twente), Sander van der Drift (DAT.Mobility) –
Proximity and digital connectivity measures and impact on social-spatial accessibility inequalities

Matthew Zook (University of Kentucky/University of Tartu) –
Un-fixing the City: The curious case of Burning Man
14.40-15.40Panel Discussion Understanding accessibility and socio-spatial disparities with mobile big data

Moderator: Matthew Zook (University of Kentucky/University of Tartu)

Robin Lovelace (University of Leeds/Active Travel England)

Kerli Müürisepp (University of Helsinki)

Luc Wismans (University of Twente)

Kertu Vuks (Tartu City Government)
15.40-16.00Conference Closing
17.30-21.00Informal Post-Conference Social Event

Virtual presentations

Faraz Malik Awan (University of Glasgow) – Unveiling the potential issues with mobile phone app data usage for travel mode detection

Charlotte van der Lijn (University of St Andrews) – Harnessing gaze tracking in virtual reality for enhanced mobility in urban design

Varun Raturi (University of Glasgow) – Estimating OD matrices using mobile app data: A novel approach to address longitudinal mobile data issues

This research focuses on estimating Origin-Destination (OD) matrices using mobile app data. It introduces a novel method for weighting the data, facilitating longitudinal comparisons. This approach aims to enhance policy-making by providing more accurate and reliable insights using mobile app data.

15 June Field Trip – Visiting Piirissaar

PeipsiField trip to Piirissaar, the largest inland island in Estonia, located in the Lake Peipus. This field trip explores the island’s nature and unique culture related to its Old Believers religious community. The trip includes a boat trip (3h + 50 min) on River Emajõgi and Lake Peipus, a 3h walking tour on the island, and a lunch. The field trip starts and finishes in Tartu.

The field trip bus leaves from Tartu at 9:15 (gathering at 9:05). The estimated arrival time back to Tartu is at 18.15.

The field trip incurs an additional cost of 60 euros, including transportation, snacks, and a lunch box.

“The small island of Piirissaar is located between Estonia and Russia at the confluence of Lake Peipus and Lake Lämmi in Tartu Parish. The island, with an area of 7.5 square kilometres, is a natural reserve: the swamps here have many species of frogs and toads that have been entered into the red list. Piirissaar also has many other protected amphibian species, as well as rare birds and plants.” – Visit Estonia

12 June – Poster Session “Human Mobility Analysis for Advancing Just and Sustainable”

Aaron James Nichols (Technical University of Munich) – Development and Use of an Open, User-Friendly, Accessibility Tool

Caroline Beckers (Ghent University), Frank Witlox (Ghent University), Greet Cardon (Ghent University), Long Cheng (Ghent University) – Travel behaviour of older adults in Ghent (Belgium): the role of the subjective & objective built environment

Cesar Marin Flores (Aalto University), Henrikki Tenkanen (Aalto University) – Towards Accessible Urban Futures: Integrating Bicycles and Transit for Sustainable Mobility

Daniel Richard Vester (University of Augsburg), Jukka Krisp (University of Augsburg) – Estimating night populations on a high spatial resolution using mobile network data

Filippos Adamidis (Technical University of Munich), Constantinos Antoniou (Technical University of Munich) – Investigating the impact of an external cost pricing scheme on population segments

Fruzsina Stefan (University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna), David Ganhör (The University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna) – Digital skills and recreational behaviour across generations – implications for monitoring leisure mobility – case study of urban fringe in the metropolitan area of Vienna, Austria

Helen Tera (University of Tartu), Mozhgan Pourmorad Nasseri (University of Tartu) – Data-driven Approach for Assessing the Impact of Newly Developed Cycling Infrastructure on Cyclists’ Route Choice

Iaroslav Kriuchkov (Aalto University), Timo Kuosmanen (University of Turku) – Capacity drop in road service level: Semiparametric estimation and testing

Jana Verdoodt (Ghent University), Kenzo Milleville (Ghent University), Nico Van de Weghe (Ghent University) – Twitter’s Take on Energy: A Geolocated Text Classification Analysis using NLP

Jialin Deng (Ghent University), Tanhua Jin (Ghent University), Long Cheng (Ghent University), Frank Witlox (Ghent University) – High-Speed Tracks to Urban Futures: UnlockingTransit-OrientedDevelopment (TOD) Potential in China’s Capital Cities

Kofoworola Modupe Osunkoya (Tallinn University of Technology), Tuomas Väisänen (University of Helsinki), Olle Järv (University of Helsinki), Jenni Partanen (Tallinn University of Technology) – Mapping Vital Urban Areas Through Social Media Activity: A Case of Tallinn, Estonia

Laurel Brooke Sparks (University of Kentucky) – “For Whom?” Big Mobility Methods and a Feminist Interjection

Lika Zhvania (Augsburg University), Anto Aasa (University of Tartu), Anniki Puura (Tallinn University of Technology) – Exploring Social Networks and Spatial patterns of Information Dissemination in Passive Mobile Positioning Data

Márton Márk Magyar (University of Oulu), Ossi Kotavaara (University of Oulu), Terhi Ala-Hulkko (University of Oulu), Harri Antikainen (University of Oulu), Tiina Lankila (University of Oulu) – Detecting modal mobility in urban form using mobile phone tracking data: Case of Finnish cities

Mengyi Wei (Technical University of Munich), Puzhen Zhang (Technical University of Munich) – Analysing Hotspots and Trends in Autonomous Vehicles News: A Public Opinion Perspective

Mergime Ibrahimi (Tallinn University of Technology), Anu Masso (Tallinn University of Technology), Mauro Bellone – Investigating Sociotechnical Imaginaries of Autonomous Vehicles: Comparing Laboratory and Online Eye-Tracking Methodology

Merja Kristiina Kajava (Aalto University), Miloš Mladenović (Aalto University) – Exploring global dynamics of micromobility systems – An open data approach

Mohamed Elgohary (Politecnico di Milano), Paola Pucci (Politecnico di Milano) – Classifying Potential Multimodal Hubs in the Milan Metropolitan Area. A scalable tool for addressing Multimodality in urban areas

Newsha Modjrian (Aalto University), Henrikki Tenkanen (Aalto University) – Dialogue Between City and Residences Well Being in Response to Climate Related Risks

Nianhua Liu (Technical University of Munich), Linbing Zhuang (University of Münster) – An Exploratory Study of Promoting the Crisis Crowdsourcing Mapping Workflow with Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT) model

Sandra Karina Meza Parra (Polytechnic University of Catalonia) – Beyond the proximity of Climate Shelters in Barcelona Municipality. A study on real availability of the network stablished in the city

Shir Gravitz-Sela (Technion – Israel Institute of Technology), Dalit Shach-Pinsly (Technion – Israel Institute of Technology), Pnina Plaut (Technion – Israel Institute of Technology) – Deep learning based analysis of spatiotemporal patterns in pedestrian movement

Zhengrong Li (Technion – Israel Institute of Technology), Karel Martens (Technion – Israel Institute of Technology) – Can anonymous GPS movement data provide insight into people’s mobility problems? A first exploration

Tanhua Jin (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam/Ghent University), Xiaobing Wei (Ghent University), Long Cheng (Southeast University), Kailai Wang (University of Houston), Yanan Xin (ETH Zurich), Frank Witlox (Ghent University) – Exploring the Impact of Built Environment Factors on Bike-Sharing Usage for Older Adults in Chicago

Tatiane Borchers (University of Duisburg-Essen), Dirk Wittowsky (University of Duisburg-Essen), Ricardo Augusto Souza Fernandes (Federal University of São Carlos) – Optimising urban mobility systems: an intersection of smart cities and sustainability

Xucai Zhang (Ghent University), Tanhua Jin (Ghent University), Nico Van de Weghe (Ghent University), Frank Witlox (Ghent University), Haosheng Huang (Ghent University) – Generating Mobility Flows without Historical Flow Data

Yuanyuan Tao (Ghent University), Frank Witlox (Ghent University), Hossein Azadi (Ghent University), Veerle Van Eetvelde (Ghent University) – Urban Spatial Analysis and Urban Sustainable Development

You can download the event programme PDF below:


11th of June – First day of PhD School

The first day of PhD School will take place at the Emajõe-Suursoo Centre in Kavastu. Transportation from Tallinn and Tartu will be organised to the venue in the morning. The participants of the PhD School can mark their wish to take the organised transportation in the registration form or write to

Please note the following transportation arrangements: 

  • The bus from Tallinn will depart from in front of the Hotel Nordic Forum on the 11th of June at 8:15 AM to take PhD School participants to Kavastu. 
  • The bus from Tartu will depart from Ülikooli Street in front of Vanemuine Theatre at 10:15 AM on the 11th of June to take PhD School participants to Kavastu. 

12-14th of June – Main Conference

The Main Conference and PhD School takes place at the Oecologicum, Tartu.