• Journal of Geographical Sciences
  • Vol. 30, Issue 12, 12001943 (2020)
LI Tao1、2, WANG Jiaoe2、3、*, HUANG Jie2, and GAO Xingchuan2
Author Affiliations
  • 1Northwest Land and Resource Research Center, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an 710119, China
  • 2Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • 3College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
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    A largely unexplored application of “Big Data” in urban contexts is using human mobility data to study temporal heterogeneity in intercity travel networks. Hence, this paper explores China’s intercity travel patterns and their dynamics, with a comparison between weekdays and holidays, to contribute to our understanding of these phenomena. Using passenger travel data inferred from Tencent Location Big Data during weekdays (April 11-15, 2016) and National Golden Week (October 1-7, 2016), we compare the spatial patterns of Chinese intercity travel on weekdays and during Golden Week. The results show that the average daily intercity travel during Golden Week is significantly higher than that during weekdays, but the travel distance and degree of network clustering are significantly lower. This indicates temporal heterogeneity in mapping the intercity travel network. On weekdays, the three major cities of Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou take prominent core positions, while cities that are tourism destinations or transportation hubs are more attractive during Golden Week. The reasons behind these findings can be explained by geographical proximity, administrative division (proximity of cultural and policy systems), travel distance, and travel purposes.

    1 Introduction

    Human mobility has been a key concept in geography, transport, and regional planning. Measuring and analyzing the flows of travelers at different scales (spatial and temporal) is a major topic in the mobility literature (Jin et al., 2018). Increasing mobility and intercity travel can be expected to lead to economic and social benefits, but also to negative environmental consequences (Limtanakool et al., 2006; Dargay and Clark, 2012). While intercity travel may strengthen the connections between different regions and provide better access to public services and social connections, it can also involve increased energy consumption and the emission of pollutants, leading to negative environmental impacts (Limtanakool et al., 2005; Arbués et al., 2016). Aultman-Hall and Ullman (2020) stated that “truly understanding mobility in our global society requires inclusion of long-distance intercity travel”. Therefore, understanding patterns of intercity travel is of importance for the development of transport infrastructure and making mobility sustainable.

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    Tao LI, Jiaoe WANG, Jie HUANG, Xingchuan GAO. Exploring temporal heterogeneity in an intercity travel network: A comparative study between weekdays and holidays in China[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2020, 30(12): 1943
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    Category: Research Articles
    Received: Sep. 2, 2020
    Accepted: Oct. 30, 2020
    Published Online: May. 7, 2021
    The Author Email: WANG Jiaoe (wangje@igsnrr.ac.cn)