A glimpse into mobile phone data: characteristics, organization, tools

Keywords: mobile phone data, data manipulation, human presence, mobilty


This paper aims to present the presence and mobility data provided by TIM, highlighting the acquisition methodology, the levels of spatial and temporal disaggregation, as well as the additional information related to age groups, gender, and classification of behaviours, which are directly supplied by TIM. The construction of a baseline based on mobile phone data for the comparison of temporal trends in the presence of people is also discussed.

At the same time, the supporting data obtained from traditional sources or ad hoc surveys will be presented to show how they can facilitate the interpretation of telephone data, its validation, and its use. Finally, a reference on the operational tools used for their processing and visualization will highlight the need to integrate skills, methodologies, and tools for the maximum exploitation of this wealth of information.


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Author Biographies

Fabio Manfredini, Politecnico di Milano

He is the responsible of the “Mapping and Urban Data Lab” (MAUD), Department of Architecture and Urban Studies, Politecnico di Milano. His main areas of expertise are methods and techniques of territorial and environmental analysis, geographical information systems, statistical and spatial analysis, mapping and data visualization. In the last years, he specialized in the use of novel data sources (mobile phone and social media data) for urban studies and for mobility mapping. 

Carmelo Di Rosa, Politecnico di Milano

Senior technician of the "Mapping and Urban Data Lab" (MAUD), Department of Architecture and Urban Studies, Politecnico di Milano. His main areas of expertise are the design and the management of relational databases for the construction of mobility indicators for urban studies. VBA developer of user interfaces, expert in GIS and statistical analysis, he has collaborated in the publication of articles in national and international journals. 

Francesco Fagiani, Politecnico di Milano

He is a research fellow at Politecnico di Milano, Department of Architecture and Urban Studies. He is graduated in Urban Planning and Policy Design, his primary expertise includes data analysis, with particular regard to spatial data and GIS. His recent work has focused on new data visualisation techniques, dynamic visualization and dashboards. 

Viviana Giavarini, Politecnico di Milano

She has a degree in Architecture at the Politecnico di Milano. She works in the “Mapping and Urban Data Lab” (MAUD) of the Department of Architecture and Urban Studies, Politecnico di Milano where she develops data analysis and mapping activities to support researches aimed at analyzing urban and social transformations.


AGCOM (2022) Osservatorio sulle comunicazioni n. 4/2021

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How to Cite
ManfrediniF., Di RosaC., FagianiF., & GiavariniV. (2022). A glimpse into mobile phone data: characteristics, organization, tools. TeMA - Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment, 25-37. https://doi.org/10.6093/1970-9870/8953
Mobile phone data for exploring spatio-temporal transformations in contemporary