Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2016, Vol. 71 ›› Issue (3): 484-499.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201603011

• Geographic Information Analysis • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Measuring the employment center system in Shanghai central city: A study using mobile phone signaling data

Liang DING(), Xinyi NIU(), Xiaodong SONG   

  1. College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China
  • Received:2015-09-01 Revised:2015-11-15 Online:2016-03-25 Published:2016-03-30
  • Supported by:
    Seed Funds of China Intelligent Urbanization Co-creation Center for High Density Region;Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities


The purpose of this study is to explore the employment center system in the central city of Shanghai by using commuting data obtained from mobile phone signaling data in Shanghai. Based on the signaling data it is possible to identify the phone users' home residence and where their employment is. We compile the employment density map using the employment places data in order to identify the employment centers in Shanghai. Then the employment center system is measured based on two perspectives, namely employment density and commuting connection. We measure the level, the hinterland and influence sphere of each employment center in Shanghai central city. Our main conclusions are as follows: firstly, the employment center system in Shanghai central city is a weak multi-centric system with a strong primary center. Secondly, centers with higher employment densities also contain stronger commuting connections to other areas, and the discrepancies of commuting connections between centers are even more significant. Thirdly, centers with higher levels also have larger hinterlands, but their influence spheres are not necessarily larger. Fourthly, the mixed degree of residential and employment land use is a more significant determinant of the residential and employment land use pattern balance of employment center than the level of the center. Finally, influence spheres are alternately distributed in areas that lack employment centers. To some extent, this paper helps to solve the problems of identifying employment centers and measuring commuting connections. Previous studies have been unable to perfectly identify such centers due to either an overly large spatial unit of measurement or lack of commuting data. This paper will be helpful for constructing multi-center employment system in the central city of Shanghai.

Key words: employment center system, mobile phone signaling data, commuting, central city of Shanghai