Big-Data Analysis

An increase in visitation and traffic congestion has been an issue in the National Parks. The goal of the 2021 WPI Big-Data Research team was to discover how big-data could be used to help inform Acadia National Park’s future transportation management and policy actions. To achieve this, the WPI team collaborated with StreetLight, a traffic data aggregation and processing company. Every month, StreetLight ingests, indexes and processes ~40 billion anonymized location records from smart phones and navigation devices in connected cars and trucks. Adding context from numerous other sources like parcel data and digital road network data, StreetLight develops a view into North America’s vast network of roads, bike lanes and sidewalks. The WPI team analyzed the effectiveness of finding travel patterns, parking durations, and demographics of Acadia visitors using big-data. The results gathered through big-data analysis were then compared to other data collection methods, such as direct observation and image analysis. Additionally, the WPI team provided recommendations on how Acadia National Park could utilize big data to improve their current services and inform future policy actions.