Journal of Geo-information Science ›› 2021, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (9): 1527-1536.doi: 10.12082/dqxxkx.2021.200787

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The Theory Prospect of Crowd Dynamics-oriented Observation

FANG Zhixiang*()   

  1. State Key Laboratory of Information Engineering in Surveying, Mapping and Remote Sensing,Wuhan University,Wuhan 430079, China
  • Received:2020-12-22 Online:2021-09-25 Published:2021-11-25
  • Contact: FANG Zhixiang
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41771473);National Key Research and Development Program of China(2017YFB0503802)


During the development of COVID-19 virus's global epidemic, the fundamental research and various applications of crowd dynamics-oriented observation theories have attracted much attention from many researchers and people all over the world within some related disciplines, such as public health, clinical medicine, geography, public management, etc. Researchers conducted many interdisciplinary explorations in theories and methods of monitoring epidemic dynamics scientifically, preventing and controlling spatial transmission precisely, predicting accurately, and responding effectively. However, no crowd dynamics-oriented observation theories have been proposed in literature so far. This paper revisits the concept and introduces a theory framework of crowd dynamics-oriented observation, which tries to include the core theories of observation from geospatial big data and to support diverse potential developments. Firstly, this article introduces the research background of crowd dynamics-oriented observation, and then summarizes its three core questions (how to observe its change, how to analyze its change, and how to control its change). From the inter-discipline view of geographic information science, surveying and mapping science, this paper explains the research significance and disciplinary value of crowd dynamics-oriented observation theories. Secondly, this paper introduces a framework of crowd dynamics-oriented observation and its spatiotemporal application, and then elaborates on the bottleneck problems of the key observation theories of crowd dynamics, such as fundamental space-time framework theory, space-time quantification and comprehensive observation theory, spatiotemporal process optimization theory, etc. Thirdly, this paper preliminarily introduces some changes of crowd dynamics-oriented observation theories, for example, refined observation driven by the application needs of digital society governance and public safety/health emergency, personal privacy protection and personalized observations by balancing the public interest and personal privacies, the development of integrated observation theories for human-oriented observation and earth-oriented observation, and the theory of crowd dynamics-oriented observation for high-level management and service. Finally, this article points out the potential directions of crowd dynamics-oriented observation theory and methods, such as, the development of big data-driven crowd perception, multi-space refined crowd dynamics observation, and human-land systematical interaction modeling, so as to realize some differentiated, integrated, and hierarchical crowd dynamics-oriented observations. All potential theories are helpful to the scientific decision-making of public management and public service. The crowd dynamics-oriented observation theory should focus on the fundamental research questions related to studying, analyzing, and servicing human beings, which has become a research frontier in geospatial information science, and could play very important roles in supporting national development strategies, such as "New urbanization", "beautiful China", "artificial intelligence", and "new infrastructure", so as to contribute to a green, efficient, smart, and sustainable regional and urban development.

Key words: crowd dynamics observation, urban dynamics sensing, spatiotemporal progress, spatiotemporal modelling, space-time service, digital governance, public security, public health