Tracking Technologies – An Overview


  • Stefan van der Spek TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment



Tracking Technologies, Urbanism, GPS Tracking, RFID, Urban Design, Urban Planning


There is a growing demand for knowledge about processes in our cities, specifically the understanding of people’s actual behaviour. Advanced Tracking Technologies offer the ability to give both actual and detailed insight into both people’s individual and collective travel behaviour. The collected information can be used in urban analysis to map behaviour, feed prediction models, for simulation tools and for human behavioural sciences.

The use of emerging technologies such as GPS tracking, mobile phone tracking and RFiD is replacing existing methods and adding features to traditional instruments in the field of urban design and planning. Advanced tracking technologies have already been used in other fields – those of sociology, geography, transport planning logistics, and biology have been using tracking technology in their research since the 1990s.

This chapter gives an overview of tracking technologies relevant to urban design and planning. Firstly, the need for advanced technology is explained, followed by an explanation of available techniques. The chapter concludes with examples of the application of tracking technologies in practice.

Author Biography

Stefan van der Spek, TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment

Stefan van der Spek works as an assistant professor at the Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture, Department of Urbanism.