Inferring Commuting Statistics in the Greater Jakarta area with Twitter

PROGRAMME AREA: The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

LAB: Pulse Lab Jakarta


Some estimates for the Greater Jakarta area, or Jabodetabek as locals refer to it, put the population at over 30 million. The megacity includes the settlements of Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and  Bekasi. Within the boundaries of Jakarta alone, the transport system has to handle 1.38 million daily commuters. The scale of the population and the state of the transport infrastructure makes the daily commute a common complaint among residents. The city administration is working to improve the commuting experience and has been using survey-based data collection to understand the needs of commuters. However, information from surveys is often outdated by the time it is collected and processed.

In response to the needs of the authorities, Pulse Lab Jakarta initiated a project to test whether location information from social media on mobile devices can reveal commuting patterns in Greater Jakarta.  First, the Lab  produced Origin-Destination statistics for the ten cities in Greater Jakarta from GPS-stamped tweets by identifying a subset of people who commute between these areas. Secondly, the project calibrated the initial result based on the population distribution and Twitter user distribution. The results were verified against the official commuting statistics produced by the Indonesian Bureau of Statistics. The results of the research have confirmed to date that geo-located tweets have the  potential to fill the information gaps from  the official commuting statistics.

STATUS: Ongoing