Urban Map Inference by Pervasive Vehicular Sensing Systems with Complementary Mobility

Zhihan Fang, Guang Wang, Xiaoyang Xie, Fan Zhang, Desheng Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Accurate and up-to-date digital road maps are the foundation of many mobile applications, such as navigation and autonomous driving. A manually-created map suffers from the high cost for creation and maintenance due to constant road network updating. Recently, the ubiquity of GPS devices in vehicular systems has led to an unprecedented amount of vehicle sensing data for map inference. Unfortunately, accurate map inference based on vehicle GPS is challenging for two reasons. First, it is challenging to infer complete road structures due to the sensing deviation, sparse coverage, and low sampling rate of GPS of a fleet of vehicles with similar mobility patterns, e.g., taxis. Second, a road map requires various road properties such as road categories, which is challenging to be inferred by just GPS locations of vehicles. In this paper, we design a map inference system called coMap by considering multiple fleets of vehicles with Complementary Mobility Features. coMap has two key components: a graph-based map sketching component, a learning-based map painting component. We implement coMap with the data from four type-aware vehicular sensing systems in one city, which consists of 18 thousand taxis, 10 thousand private vehicles, 6 thousand trucks, and 14 thousand buses. We conduct a comprehensive evaluation of coMap with two state-of-the-art baselines along with ground truth based on OpenStreetMap and a commercial map provider, i.e., Baidu Maps. The results show that (i) for the map sketching, our work improves the performance by 15.9%; (ii) for the map painting, our work achieves 74.58% of average accuracy on road category classification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3448076
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 29 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


  • GPS traces
  • heterogeneous vehicular fleets
  • map painting
  • map sketching


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