Capturing crowd dynamics at large scale events using participatory gps-localization

Ulf Blanke; Gerhard Troster; Tobias Franke; Paul Lukowicz

In: Proceedings of the 9th international conference on Intelligent Sensors, Sensor Networks and Information Processing. International Conference on Intelligent Sensors, Sensor Networks and Information Processing (ISSNIP-2014), April 21-24, Singapore, Singapore, Pages 1-7, ISBN 978-1-4799-2842-2 , IEEE, 4/2014.


Large-scale festivals with a multitude of stages, food stands, and attractions require a complex perimeter design and program planning in order to manage the mobility of crowds as a controlled process. Errors in the planning phase can cause unexpected crowd dynamics and lead to stampedes with lethal consequences. We deployed an official app for Züri Fäscht 2013 - the largest Swiss event - over a period of three days. The app offered information about the festival and featured a background localization allowing us to collect continuously the visitor position. With 56,000 app downloads and 28,000 users contributing 25M location updates in total, we obtained a large scale dataset. By aggregation of location points complex crowd dynamics can be captured during the entire festival. In this paper we present the data collection for Züri Fäscht 2013 and best practices to acquire as many contributing users as possible for such an event. Furthermore, we show the potential of aggregated location data and visualize relevant parameters that can serve as tool for analysis and planning of program and perimeter design.

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Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz
German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence