Horses for Courses: Designing a GPS Tracking Data Collection

Horses for Courses: Designing a GPS Tracking Data Collection

Kristian Hegner Reinau (Aalborg University, Denmark), Henrik Harder (Aalborg University, Denmark) and Christian Hansen Overgård (Technical University of Denmark, Denmark)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6170-7.ch003


During the last decade, GPS tracking has become a key technology for data collection. In this chapter, the authors develop a practice-ready guideline for how to design and conduct GPS tracking investigations. They do so by first developing a V-model for GPS tracking, which describes the different phases of a GPS tracking data collection and the choices that have to be made in each phase. Thereafter, the authors show how this model can be applied in practice in a case study. The V-model is the first model that systematically combines methodological insights from the literature on GPS tracking and practical experiences from a number of GPS tracking projects into a practical guideline. Researchers can use this model as a starting point when designing a GPS tracking data collection. The authors hope that the model can constitute a first step towards the development of best practice.
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A V-Model For Designing A Gps Tracking Study

To conceptualize our review of the literature and experiences into a model for GPS tracking, we chose the classic V-model for software development as our starting point. The V-model was originally developed by Rook (1986). As shown in Figure 1, it has been discussed in numerous publications and developed further by, for example, Mathur & Malik (2010). The V-model provides a clear differentiation between design, coding and test. The left-hand side of the V constitutes the design phase; the bottom the coding phase and the right-hand side the test phase. Many scholars regard the distribution of GPS devices, the tracking, and the collection of GPS devices as the main components of a GPS study. However, these activities, like the coding in a software development project, are only parts of a complete GPS tracking study. If we only focus on this, we forget many important tasks before and after the actually tracking. For example, too little effort in the phase before the actual tracking may endanger the motivation of the respondents in the recruitment phase.

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