Bluetooth Travel Sensor Data is now available on the City of Austin Open Data Portal
February 28, 2017
Just in time for the first ATX Hack the Traffic, the City of Austin has released its Bluetooth travel sensor data to the public via the city’s open data portal. ATX Hack the Traffic, a hackathon that focuses on Bluetooth sensors and the data they generate, will be held on March 4, 2017—International Open Data Day.
The publication of the more than 70 million records (gathered since 2013) represents an exciting step forward in realizing the goals of the Data Rodeo: to promote the exchange of transportation data between governments, researchers, private companies, and the public.
Where does the data come from? The City of Austin Transportation Department operates a network of Bluetooth device sensors along major roadways. The sensors, which are installed inside traffic signal cabinets, detect unpaired Bluetooth-enabled devices and estimate travel times and average speeds based on the movement of those devices through the sensor network.
Does the data contain personally identifiable information? No. The Media Access Control (MAC) addresses in these datasets are randomly generated, effectively scrubbing personal information.
How does the City of Austin use the Bluetooth travel sensor data? The data enables transportation engineers to better understand short and long-term trends in Austin’s traffic patterns, allowing for decisions about systems planning.
What information does the data contain? The sensor data is available in three datasets:
Individual Address Records (https://data.austintexas.gov/dataset/Bluetooth-Travel-Sensors-Individual-Addresses/qnpj-zrb9/data) Each row in this dataset represents a Bluetooth device that was detected by one of our sensors. Each record contains a detected device’s anonymized Media Access Control (MAC) address along with the time and location the device was detected. These records alone are not traffic data but can be post-processed to measure the movement of detected devices through the roadway network