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Origin and Destination Study | Types of OD Studies

Origin and destination study is used to determine the travel pattern of people present in an area or city. It makes use of the desire lines. Details about the study are discussed further in this blog.


Origin and Destination Study
Origin and Destination Study

Notations in Origin and Destination Study


O - represents the origin i.e., the place from where the journey starts, say home

D - represents the destination i.e., the place where the journey ends, say office

Desire lines - represent the path taken by an individual, the more the people take a particular path, the more is the thickness of the desire line and vice versa


Origin and Destination Study Concept


OD study is to determine the travel pattern of an area/city. We can find out the origin (start point of travel) and destination (endpoint of travel) for each person in the city. This will help in the analysis of the travel pattern observed in the city. It forms the foundation for planning transportation projects.


What OD Studies Look at?

  • Where vehicles are coming from

  • Where they are going

  • Why people are travelling

  • When the trips occur and

  • What types of vehicles are travelling


The travel pattern is determined by ​desire lines ​which show us the number of people going from one origin to another destination in the form of lines with varying thickness.


For example, if 200 people go from origin A to destination B, and 100 people go from origin A to destination C, AB is represented by a thicker line than AC. Similarly, the study is carried on further for other routes and desire lines are drawn to find the pattern for the entire area or city.


Application of Origin and Destination Study


Origin and destination study maps out the movement of all the people in a city. It visually represents the most frequent routes people take. Therefore, this data can be used to plan for the expansion of a particular road or to introduce more public transport facilities along the route.


Types of Origin and Destination Study


1. Bluetooth OD


This is done by strategically deploying Bluetooth sensors across the survey area. The path of each device is tracked throughout the survey area based on the progression of sensors that pick up the signal-emitting device. The resulting data is viewable on a cloud-based web portal. This study is suited for medium type OD studies.


2. Surveys


This study involves the use of historical, anonymized data from location-based apps and GPS navigation services and processes that data to produce O-D matrices and travel time data. This study is suited for large areas like the cities.


3. License Plate Studies


This study is done using cameras that captures license plates and tracks the movement of the vehicle based on the license plate. This study is best suited for projects where counting all trips is ideal, such as assessing cut-through traffic. It can also be more cost-effective than the other two methods when only a few routes need to be analyzed.


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