May 6, 2022

Trisalyn Nelson, Professor, Department of Geography, UC Santa Barbara

This presentation is sponsored by ITS-Davis’ partnership with the Pacific Southwest Region University Transportation Center.


Data for Active Transportation Research and Planning


1:40pm - 3:00pm


In-person/remote TBD


Lack of available data can be a barrier to bicycling and pedestrian research and planning. Much of my team’s research focuses on building novel data sources to map bicycling infrastructure, safety, and volume. In this presentation I will outline how we are using OpenStreetMaps to map bicycle infrastructure, crowdsource webmaps ( and to map safety and access concerns, and modelling ridership using Strava data. I will discuss how crowdsource data provide unique opportunities to enhance active transportation data, but also challenges particularly around representativeness and equity.

Biographical Sketch

Trisalyn Nelson is joining the Department of Geography at UCSB as Jack and Laura Dangermond Endowed Chair of Geography. Dr. Nelson joined USCB from Arizona State University where she has been the Director of the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning since 2016. Prior, she was professor and director of the Spatial Pattern Analysis and Research Lab at the University of Victoria, Canada.

Dr. Nelson and her team develop and apply spatial and spatial-temporal analyses to address applied questions in a wide range of fields from ecology to health. Currently, her research focuses on active transportation, and the use of big data and analytics to better plan healthy cities. Nelson led the creation of, a web-map and app to gather volunteered geographic information on cycling collisions and near misses. With her team, she has developed new ways of using fitness app data (like Strava) to create maps of bicycling volume useful for transportation planning. Nelson’s uses and other big data to quantify and monitor patterns of urban cycling safety and ridership.

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