Automatic Spatio-temporal Analysis of Construction Site Equipment Operations using GPS Data

Automation in ConstructionAutomation in Construction, Volume 29, January 2013, Pages 107–122

Nipesh Pradhananga and Jochen Teizer


  • Continuous data collection in construction equipment operation is lacking detail.
  • GPS data loggers can collect reliable location tracking data for further analysis.
  • A software user interface allows detection and visualization of active job site areas.
  • Information to equipment cycles, hours of operation, and proximity can be collected.
  • Data can be used in application, e.g., construction equipment simulation and safety.

“A literature review revealed several major shortcomings in the analysis of construction equipment operations data, for example, the lack of using realistic or real-time positioning data that can feed into an equipment operations analysis or simulation model. This paper presents technology and algorithms that have the potential in aiding the automated assessment of construction site equipment operations. Utilizing commercially available low-cost global positioning system (GPS) devices enables the continuous data logging of equipment location in addition to simultaneously recording timestamps. However, before any such spatio-temporal equipment data can be reliably collected on construction sites, the error rate of the GPS devices had to be evaluated. Data analysis methods and rules for monitoring construction site equipment operations and activity were then defined. A detailed software interface was finally created that allows a user to set, analyze, and visualize several important equipment parameters towards achieving the goal of creating more realistic equipment operation analysis and potential for inclusion in simulation models. Results from field experiments show that the developed technology is able to identify and track equipment activity- and safety-related information automatically for job site performance and layout decision making, respectively. The presented work will aid construction project managers in making better decisions to plan, manage, and control equipment-related work tasks on construction sites.”