MUPpets in the field: Stephen

Happy Monday! Here’s another update from my Masters of Urban Planning (MUP) classmates on their summer planning internships. Today’s installment is from Stephen who is doing some interesting stuff using new technology to improve data collection for planners.

Take it away Stephen!


For my summer internship I have moved about 1.1 kilometres down the road from my usual spot on the 4th floor of the MacDonald Harrington Building at McGill University to some new digs at Concordia University. I’m working with a professor here helping to develop and launch an app for smart phones that will passively collect accurate origin-destination data that ‘transportationists’ love to get their hands on (i.e. where each trip you make in a day starts, ends, and what mode of transportation you used for each trip).

I am sharing my work space with five other masters and Ph.D students who are working on various planning and transportation projects and the atmosphere in the lab is one of sharing, helping each other out when ArcGIS just doesn’t want to cooperate, and playing light background music as we tap away at our keyboards.

My specific job is a bit difficult to categorize, because I am playing a few different roles: I am part project manager, ensuring that we meet our deadlines and coordinating the various parties involved in the project so we can launch the first week of school; I am part guinea pig, testing out the app and having it track my movements around the city; and finally, I am part GIS data validator, ensuring that the data collected will be usable and applicable to the project’s overall goals.

I’m having a great time, enjoying all that Montreal has to offer in the summer and feeling refreshed to take on year 2 of my masters degree!


MUPpets in the field: Stephen

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