Mobile Tartu 2016
29/06 to 01/07 2016 @ Tartu, Estonia
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Mobile Tartu 2016

The aim of the event is to discuss theoretical, methodological and empirical aspects of research using mobile data – derived from mobile phone or crowd-sourced social media – and explore practical applications of this data in geography and planning.

Mobile Tartu 2016 conference includes also special events:
1) PhD course “Mobile Phone based Data Collection Experiment” on 29th - 30th of June
2) "Social Network and Travel behavior" - COST TU1305 Workshop on 29th of June
3) “Mobile phones, travel and transportation” on 1st of July organised by NECTAR

Participation fee:
Early bird registration until 15.04.2016: students 100 EUR; regular 210 EUR
Late registration from 16.04.2016: students 150 EUR; regular 280 EUR
COST members - I day (free), COST members (I,II and III day) 50EUR

NB: All presenters – we have to receive your payment before 10th of May 2016 in order to include your paper in the program.

To know more about the event, please visit Mobile Tartu previous event web pages:
Mobile Tartu 2014
Mobile Tartu 2012
Mobile Tartu 2010
Mobile Tartu 2008


Impact of distance on tourist behaviour
Robert Douglas (Bob) McKercher
The distance decay concept has been applied widely in tourism studies to explain the interaction between distance and demand. Few geographers, though, extend this research to examine the profile of tourists and resultant behavior of different segments. Our research has shown that segments decay at different rates, resulting in an uneven effect on tourists. As such, distance influences who is likely to visit a destination, and in turn, influences their resultant consumption behavior. This presentation examines the less well understood impact of distance on tourist behavior.

Short biography
Dr Bob McKercher is a Professor of Tourism in the School of Hotel and Tourism Management at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He has been a tourism academic since 1990, beginning his career at Charles Sturt University in Albury, NSW, Australia. Prior to that he worked in the Canadian tourism industry in a variety of advocacy and operational roles. Dr McKercher has wide ranging research interests. He has published over 300 scholarly papers and research reports on a variety of subject areas. He is the author of The Business of Nature-based Tourism, co-authored Cultural Tourism: The partnership between tourism and cultural heritage management and its 2nd edition titled simply Cultural Tourism. He has edited a number of other books, including, Climate Change and Tourism in the Asia Pacific, The Internet and Travel and Tourism Education and Sex and Tourism: Journeys of Romance, Love and Lust. He received his PhD from the University of Melbourne in Australia, a Masters degree from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada and his undergraduate degree from York University in Toronto, Canada. Prof McKercher has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award of the International Academy of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research. He is the President of the International Academic for the Study of Tourism. He has also been honored by being named a Fellow of the International Academic for the Study of Tourism; the Council for Australian University Tourism and Hospitality Education and; the International Academy of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research.

Space, Time and Visual Analytics: a Multiple Perspectives Paradigm
Gennady Andrienko
Visual analytics aims to combine the strengths of human and computer data processing. Visualization, whereby humans and computers cooperate through graphics, is the means through which this is achieved. Sophisticated synergies are required for analyzing spatio-temporal data and solving spatio-temporal problems. It is necessary to take into account the specifics of the geographic space, time, and spatio-temporal data.

While a wide variety of methods and tools are available, it is still hard to find guidelines for considering a data set systematically from multiple perspectives. To fill this gap, we systematically consider the structure of spatio-temporal data, possible transformations, and demonstrate several workflows of comprehensive analysis of different data sets, paying special attention to the investigation of data properties.
We finish the talk by outlying directions for future research, including semantic level analysis and big data.
Short biography
Gennady Andrienko is a lead scientist responsible for the visual analytics research at Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information systems (IAIS) and full professor (part time) at City University London, UK. He co-authored monographs "Exploratory Analysis of Spatial and Temporal Data" (Springer, 2006) and "Visual Analytics of Movement" (Springer, 2013) and more than 70 peer-reviewed journal papers and 20 book chapters. Gennady Andrienko is associate editor of three journals, Information Visualization, IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, and International Journal of Cartography, and editorial board member of Cartography and Geographic Information Science. From 2007 till 2015 Gennady Andrienko chaired the Commission on GeoVisualization of the ICA - International Cartographic Association. He co-organized scientific events on visual analytics, geovisualization and visual data mining, and co-edited 11 special issues of major journals. Gennady Andrienko was poster chair of IEEE VAST 2013-2014 and is paper chair of IEEE VAST 2015-2016. Gennady Andrienko received best paper awards at AGILE 2006, IEEE VAST 2011 and 2012, honorable mention award at IEEE VAST 2010, VAST challenge awards 2008 and 2014, and best poster award at AGILE 2007 conference.

Mapping human mobility: concepts, mapping tools and designs
Menno-Jan Kraak

Cartographic representation of the spatial mobility of human activity has been a task for geographers since the creation of the first exploration journey maps. The public for such maps depicting travelling and movement, however, is much wider than just a select few in the field of geography. The 21st century has seen a significant growth in the spatial mobility of our society, and new data sources for tracking and movement have sprung forth. As such, there is a growing need for ways to represent movement in visual form, and in addition to the traditional flow charts and maps new approaches have been developed, such as animated maps, 3D maps, etc. There is a significant rise in the necessity for visual analysis methods and tools.

Short biography
Menno-Jan Kraak graduated in Cartography from Faculty of Geographical Sciences, Utrecht University. In 1988 he got his PhD at the Faculty of Geodesy, Delft University of Technology. In 1996 he started at ITC as professor in Geovisual Analytics and Cartography (as of 2010 University of Twente). Currently he is the head of ITC’s Geo-Information Processing Department, and Principle Investigator of the ITC research program Spatio-Temporal Analytics, Maps and Processing (STAMP). He is the author of several books, among them ‘Cartography, visualization of geospatial data’ (with Ormeling) and 'Mapping time, illustrated by Minard's map of Napoleon's invasion into Russia 1812. He is a member of the editorial board of several international journals in the field of Cartography and GIScience. Menno-Jan is President of the International Cartographic Association (ICA) for the period 2015-2019.

What social media data can offer for mobility studies
Tuuli Toivonen

In the age of the Big Data revolution devices such as mobile phones have made it possible to study the spatio-temporal mobility patterns of people like never before. While mobile phone call detail records have formed the cornerstone of innovative mobility studies, in many countries they are difficult to obtain and their spatial accuracy is limited. Rapidly growing resources of geospatial social media data offer a less representative but spatially quite accurate and content rich data source for socio-spatial analytics. In this presentation, I explore the differences of these data sources and discuss the potential and limitations of various openly available social media data (Instagram, Twitter, Flickr) for mobility studies, in urban regions and natural areas.
Short biography
Tuuli Toivonen is a tenure track professor of geoinformatics at the University of Helsinki, Finland. Her research focuses on utilising open and big data sources and developing spatial analyses to support environmental and sustainable land use and urban planning. Her Accessibility Research Group has studied multimodal accessibility and mobility patterns in urban and rural environments since 2011, and their temporal change and impact on societal equity and land use pressure. Currently, she also runs a multidisciplinary project studying spatiotemporal (mobility) patterns and preferences of people visiting national parks.

Sensing the City/Advances in Tracking Technologies
Stefan Van Der Spek

People have an objective when moving around: a goal, a purpose or a destination. Seldom people wander for no reason, even when indicating to use intuition. 
Choices are made to reach the objective: mode of transportation and route. Some choices are made in advance, prior to departure, other choices are made on the way or even in real-time. A huge proportion of our choices are based on experience with the physically built environment (prior knowledge), interpretation of what is expected (logic), personal preferences and habitats (background). Some choices are made obviously, many choices are made unconsciously.
The Built Environment provides a framework for our movement: Movement is limited to infrastructure: street network and paths. Pedestrians have most freedom but are despite limited physically: we cannot walk through walls or cross private property. Every means of transportation has it’s own network, although some parts of the networks can be used by multiple modes.
Our human brain facilitates our movement in space and time. We built a spatio-temporal cognitive map of our (built) environment: Either by physically visiting or by using aids such as maps, 3D models and other representations. Emotions add personal values to the map. Spaces become places with a meaning: stepping-stones on the way from origin to destination. Highlights in the city become landmarks: beacons or location-referenced identifiable objects. We all have our own unique map in our minds, just like Google builds a personalised representation of the map based on search-engine entries, browsing behaviour and physical movement. But, we also have many elements in common. Our brain is the starting point of understanding our movement.
I will discuss the relation between movement and the cognitive system, between actual movement and structure offered. Can we reveal the logic of our movement and translate this into design of smarter cities?

Short biography
Stefan Van Der Spek is the Associate Professor of Urban Design and Director of  Geomatics for the Built Environment at Delft University of Technology. Geomatics is a relatively new science concerned with the acquisition, management, processing, analysis and visualisation of geographic data with the aim of gaining knowledge and better understanding of the built and natural environments. The three main fields he covers are: Urban Fabriques – (Dynamics of the city, Public Space and Vital City Centers), Intermodal Transfer Points – the design of terminals and (railway)station areas and Sensing the City – the application of tracking technologies in cities, districts and buildings, extended by other sensors. This field is a continuation of ‘Urbanism on Track’, a group he initiated with Jeroen van Schaick in 2007. Stefan's goal is to apply knowledge from Geomatics and develop tools for Urban Design. In his methods he uses  evidence-based design: integration of traditional mapping and dynamic user data. Users play a central role in his approach.

Leaving the Lab: Real-life Measurement of Mobility, Activity and Social Interaction in Healthy Aging Research
Robert Weibel
How we maintain our health in older age in everyday life becomes increasingly important as the proportion of elderly people rises. Physical activity, real-world space use, and a stimulating environment are predictors for maintaining good physical and cognitive health. The over-whelming majority of research in the health sciences and particularly in psychology has been conducted in controlled laboratory settings, typically focusing on a particular health condition to identify its causes and how to improve it. In order to validate findings in real-life, however, research is required that investigates the correlation between space use, social and physical activity, and the psychological well-being in a real-world research setting.

This talk reports about some of the experiences made in MOASIS (MObility, Activity and Social Interaction Study), a project jointly pursued by researchers of the Departments of Psychology and the Department of Geography of UZH. I will start with the motivation for real-life, ambulatory measurement in gerontopsychology and the reasons why this form of research is still so rarely found today. I will then turn to the design of the MOASIS system and experiments, and show some of the results of this project. I will conclude with a discussion of the — so I believe — great potential for geography in health research and point to a number of future contributions that geography can make in ambulatory assessment.

Short biography Robert Weibel is a Professor of Geographic Information Science in the Department of Geography of the University of Zurich (UZH). He serves as Regional Editor for Europe and Africa of the International Journal of Geographical Information Science (IJGIS), and as Associate Editor of ACM Transactions on Spatial Algorithms and Systems (TSAS). His research interests are in computational movement analysis, computational cartography, and modeling the evolution of language in space and time. He was the initiator and chair of COST Action IC0903 MOVE (, a large European research coordination network active in 2009-2013. MOVE offered a platform for interdisciplinary collaboration in movement research, bringing together methods-oriented researchers from GIScience and computer science with domain experts from application disciplines such as animal ecology, transportation, urbanism, health sciences etc.


20th of June – deadline for submitting a full paper for special issue (e-mail to

A special issue(s) in a scientific journal cited in ISI Web of Science is planned to be published. The journal will be selected after receiving papers. The papers from Mobile Tartu 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014 were published in the Journal of Urban Technology, the Journal of Location Based Services, and International Journal of Geographical Information Science.
If you wish to submit your paper to the special issue then you have to send your full paper latest on 20th of June (email to

Participation fee:
Early bird registration until 15.04.2016: students 100 EUR; regular 210 EUR
Late registration from 16.04.2016: students 150 EUR; regular 280 EUR

COST members - I day (free), COST members (I,II and III day) 50EUR
NB: All presenters – we have to receive your payment before 10th of May 2016 in order to include your paper in the program.


Day 1: 29.06.2016 - PhD seminar, COST TU1305
Venue: Järveveere Holiday Centre, 55 km north-west from Tartu (25.964772E, 58.363061N).
Transportation to Järveveere:
BUS FROM TARTU: direct bus to PhD/COST TU1305 sessions in Järveveere departs at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the front of the Department of Geography (Vanemuise 46, Tartu).

BUS FROM TALLINN: direct bus to PhD/COST TU1305 sessions in Järveveere departs at 9.30 a.m. in front of the Radisson Blu Hotel Olümpia in Tallinn City centre (Liivalaia 33, Tallinn); and at 9.45 a.m. from Tallinn Airport downstairs parking lot.

Please register to the bus transfer by sending an e-mail to, use subject text „MOBILE TARTU bus transfer“

Because of the high number of participants and received papers we had to cancel the overnight stay in Järveveere holiday centre. The bus will take all the participants back to Tartu in the evening of 29.06 at 9 p.m. and 11 p.m.

DAY 2 and 3 (30.06-1.07.2016): Estonian Biocentre (Omicum); Riia 23b-105, Tartu, (26.7178786E, 58.3728749N ).

Arriving to Tartu
You can reach Tartu by flying to the local Tartu Airport or to the Tallinn Airport from where you can take a frequent Lux Express (we recommend to buy ticket in advanced) bus to Tartu. Ask more arrival information from the organizers by sending an e-mail to

For late arrival to Tallinn Airport book 20EUR transfer from Tartaline (

Accommodation suggestions

Please find below a list of hotels in the city centre. Rooms and prices are subject to availability. We kindly ask you to always make a reservation either by sending an email to the hotel or through contact number. Always mention “Mobile Tartu” when you reserve a room. Please note that the special rates are only available if booked directly with the hotel and not through external internet booking systems such as


Single - 61 €

Twin - 77 €

For booking please send an e-mail and use keyword "Mobile Tartu" 

Tel: +372 730 1200

Breakfast included



Single - 81 €

Twin - 93 €

For booking please send an e-mail and use keyword "Mobile Tartu" 

Tel: +372 730 5555

Breakfast included



Superior Single – 77 €

Superior Double/TWIN – 97 €

Deluxe Single – 91 €

Deluxe Double/TWIN – 112 €

For booking please send an e-mail and use keyword "Mobile Tartu"

Tel: +372 737 0377

Breakfast included



Single 59 €

Twin 74 €

For booking please send an e-mail and use keyword "Mobile Tartu". Offer is valid until 10th of June

Breakfast included





Scientific Program Committee

Prof. Rein Ahas, University of Tartu
Prof. Gennady Andrienko, Fraunhofer IAIS and City University London
Prof. Kay Axhausen, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich
Prof. Vincent Blondel, University of Louvain
Prof. Yanwei Chai, Peking University
Prof. Martin Dijst, Utrecht University
Prof. Karst T. Geurs, University of Twente
Prof. Prof Bob McKercher, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Prof. Menno-Jan Kraak, University of Twente
Prof. Jukka Matthias Krisp, University Augsburg
Prof. Mei-Po Kwan, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Prof. Yu Liu, Peking University
Prof. Harvey Miller, Ohio State University
Prof. Martin Raubal, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich
Prof. Noam Shoval, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Michail Skaliotis, Eurostat
Dr. Zbigniew Smoreda, Orange Labs
Prof. Tiit Tammaru, University of Tartu
Margus Tiru, Positium LBS
Dr. Emmanouil Tranos, University of Birmingham
Prof. Donggen Wang, Hong Kong Baptist University
Prof. Wanggen Wan, Shanghai University
Prof. Nico Van de Weghe, Ghent University
Prof. Robert Weibel, University of Zurich
Prof. Frank Witlox, Ghent University
Dr. Matthew A. Zook, University of Kentucky

Local Organising Committee

Rein Ahas (Chair), Department of Geography, University of Tartu (rein.ahas (at)
Kristi Sõmer (Secretariat), Department of Geography, University of Tartu (mobiletartu (at)
Erki Saluveer, Positium LBS
Janika Raun, Department of Geography, University of Tartu
Anto Aasa, Department of Geography, University of Tartu

Contacts of the organising committee:
Head of organising committee: prof. Rein Ahas
E-mail: mobiletartu (at)
Phone: +372-7375077
Chair of Human Geography
University of Tartu
Vanemuise St. 46
51014 Tartu

Contact Mobile Tartu 2016 Team