ArcGIS AllSource

Getting Started with Movement Analysis Tools in ArcGIS AllSource

Point data on a map

You might be asking yourself, “What exactly is movement data?” You’re likely familiar with the more common examples like GPS, tracking data on packages, or even mobile marketing data that pushes insights to individuals based upon their individual movements and the likely encounters along that path.  Movement data is typically collected in high volumes with the only information required for collection being a unique track ID, location, time stamp and without context, can look like just a whole bunch of dots. The movement tools within ArcGIS AllSource enables you make sense of what would initially appear to be a giant mess. The movement analysis toolset allows you to analyze point track data, including comparing tracks over different areas, extracting unique identifiers from a point track dataset, and identifying where tracks meet.

Connecting the Dots

The yellow dots in the picture above show movement data on a map within ArcGIS AllSource.  To make sense of these dots, different classifications of movement events can be categorized. The point track data contains location and time information that indicates if the device is moving.  From this data we can see if a device is turning, stopping, and/or accelerating.  This allows you to answer questions i.e.: “How fast was it going?”, “Where did it stop?”, and “Where did it turn around?” It also reveals when two or more devices are traveling together within a specified distance and time.

Movement tools in ArcGIS AllSource on a map

Next, we may want to understand if there is a connection between entities.  The tools in ArcGIS AllSource can also help you see if entities are working together or if they are associated through their travel behaviors alone. The Find Cotravelers tool for example, answers the question “who is traveling together?”. This tool can identify devices that may have been traveling together by comparing nearby tracks within a time interval to find behaviorally relevant relationships.

ArcGIS AllSource showing co-travelers on a map

In other cases, you may need to pinpoint areas where devices are showing up together and determine how long the devices are at a specific location. The Find Meeting Locations tool identifies areas where separate devices are stopping together and can help identify who, where, or how long individuals are loitering together.


Movement data and buffered areas of interest on a map


More Than Dots on a Map

In this scenario, you have known areas of interest around protected federal facilities. You want to find out which devices were present at each location and for how long. You are also interested in understanding if there was a unique device present at more than one location of interest. The Compare Unique Device counts across multiple known areas of interest, like protected federal facilities, could inform security decision making.

Compare area movement tool in ArcGIS AllSource

The movement analysis tools in AllSource can help you to quickly derive meaning from massive amounts of collected data and infer possible relationships. It shows that two entities may have a relationship if they are repeatedly counted in both space and time. By using movement tools and link analysis, you can quickly uncover these hidden relationships in your data with ease.

Side by side of link chart and movement data on a map in a gif.


ArcGIS AllSource adapts to meet your mission, whether you need to understand patterns of life (PoL), conduct movement analysis, or provide investigative support. Through the use of maps, imagery, link analysis, and graphs, AllSource enables intelligence professionals to uncover patterns, trends, and relationships to inform decision making. ArcGIS supports intelligence analysts and auditors in the military, civilian intelligence agencies, law enforcement, and the private sector. ArcGIS AllSource is interoperable and extensible, supporting your data integration strategy across multiple domains, in connected, disconnected, and air-gapped networks.



About the author

Tiffany Glenn has held many strategic roles at Esri over the years and currently is a Senior Product Marketing Lead for the Operational Intelligence suite of products. She drives go-to-market strategy, customer engagement, and the planning and execution of marketing activities to support National Government, Law Enforcement, Public Safety, and corporate security customers.

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