YJMob100K: Pioneering the Future of Urban Mobility Research with a City-scale and Longitudinal Dataset

In the bustling urban environments that most of us call home, understanding the ebbs and flows of human mobility is key to advancing our cities into the future. From improving transportation systems to enhancing disaster response strategies, the need for comprehensive insights into how people move around metropolitan areas has never been more critical. Enter the groundbreaking YJMob100K dataset: a revolutionary tool poised to transform urban planning and mobility forecasting as we know it.

The YJMob100K dataset emerges as an open-source beacon in the realm of human mobility research, offering anonymized and granular mobility trajectories of 100,000 individuals over a 75-day period. This treasure trove of data, generously provided by Yahoo Japan Corporation (now LY Corporation), covers an undisclosed bustling metropolitan area, meticulously recorded and anonymized to protect individual privacy. The meticulous organization of location pings into 500×500 meter grid cells, further anonymized through 30-minute timestamp binning, ensures that the dataset stands as a monumental stride towards accessible, responsible big data in urban mobility research.

The significance of the YJMob100K dataset cannot be overstated. Traditional urban mobility research often depended on travel surveys, census data, and various proprietary datasets. Though these methods provided valuable insights, they also presented substantial limitations in scope, scalability, and privacy. The leap to utilizing large-scale, anonymized mobile device data opens up a plethora of possibilities for understanding and predicting urban dynamics at a level of detail previously unimaginable.

Despite the burgeoning interest and clear societal benefits of human mobility modeling, the field has been hampered by the scarcity of open-source, large-scale datasets. Privacy concerns and the proprietary nature of detailed mobility data have made it challenging to establish a common ground for comparison and improvement of prediction models. This fragmentation has stood in the way of significant advancements, leaving a gap that the YJMob100K dataset is well-positioned to fill.

The dataset’s unparalleled depth and breadth are not its only standout features. It also encompasses a range of behavioral patterns, capturing 60 days of typical movement interlaced with 15 days of emergency-induced anomalies. Such a comprehensive snapshot allows researchers to analyze and predict urban mobility under both standard and crisis conditions, offering invaluable insights for disaster preparedness and response planning.

To catalyze innovation and collaborative research in the domain, the creators of the dataset organized the ‘HuMob Challenge 2023’ in conjunction with ACM SIGSPATIAL 2023. This initiative brought together the brightest minds in urban mobility research, leveraging the YJMob100K dataset to develop, test, and refine predictive models. The challenge saw more than 20 groundbreaking submissions, with the top 10 methods showcased and discussed, marking a significant leap in collaborative scientific inquiry.

The creation and dissemination of the YJMob100K dataset mark a watershed moment in urban mobility research. As we stand on the brink of a new era in city planning and disaster management, datasets like YJMob100K are not just tools but torchbearers, illuminating the path to safer, smarter, and more sustainable urban environments for all. With its unprecedented scale and depth, YJMob100K doesn’t just change the game; it creates an entirely new playing field for the future of urban mobility research.

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