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Traffic Count Data Crowdsourcing

Traffic counting sensors are an excellent example of how low cost sensors are revolutionising city planning. Just a few years ago it was very expensive to obtain traffic count information so cities were only able to collect this data for large projects. Now residents can collect relatively good traffic counts themselves and share this data. This enables them to better understand problems and identify solutions. Today there are sensors available to count cars, bikes and pedestrians.

Examples of Traffic Count Data Crowdsourcing


Placemeter develops sensors and analytics to count all types of traffic. According to City Observatory the sensors are inexpensive and easy to use, making them ideal for use by local residents.

According to Placemeter’s About page: “Placemeter ingests any kind of video to analyze pedestrian and vehicular movement, revealing hidden patterns and strategic opportunities. Our platform leverages proprietary computer vision technology to gather data from live streams. We take privacy very seriously, designing our systems to yield useful data without identity detection.”

City Observatory Article: Counting People and Cars: Placemeter
By Joe Cortright, 27 September 2016.


The company offers personal sized traffic counters for bikes or cars at less than $200 a unit. Software is available to easily upload traffic data to the Internet for everyone to view and analyse.

Build your own traffic counter instructions from Tomorrow Lab in New York: DYI Traffic Counter.


From Next City: Tech startup CTY is producing a video based sensor to count bicyclists, pedestrians and more. Their data counting hardware — called Numina — is essentially a camera mounted 15 feet up on a light pole capturing video of a piece of infrastructure. The software is programmed to recognize and count patterns such as a bicyclist or walker crossing the screen. The sensors send the aggregate data via cellular signal to CTY’s servers and erase the original images.

Next City Article: More Accurate Bicycle Counter Could Give Complete Streets Advocates a Boost – By Josh, Cohen; June 6, 2016.

Blog Posts: Traffic Count Data Crowdsourcing

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