Electronic Behaviour Mapping and GIS Application for Stavanger Torget, Norway

Electronic Behaviour Mapping and GIS Application for Stavanger Torget, Norway

Daniela Müller-Eie Monica Reinertsen Erlend Tøssebro 

Department of Industrial Economics, Risk Management and Planning, University of Stavanger, Norway

Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, University of Stavanger, Norway

| |
| | Citation



In Norway, there is a growing interest in urban life as opposed to previously urban space. For urban planners and designers this means that methods of spatial registration and analysis need to be extended to include user behaviour, perception and experience. Therefore, user observation and behavioural surveys have become more prominent. To this end, behaviour mapping can be used as a tool to investigate the current use of a space. While manual behaviour mapping has limitations, this paper describes the development and testing of a GIS-based application using electronic maps for registration and analysis of observed behaviour in an urban public space. The behaviour mapping application has been tested and used in a study of Stavanger Torget, the most central public space in Stavanger, Norway. The collection and analysis of data was executed to investigate the amount of users and types of activities in the space throughout the week. Here, the electronic map application proved to be helpful in terms of making registration more efficient, instantly generating digital maps of the observations and providing tabular data for further analysis. This strongly improves urban analysis with regard to behavioural observation and makes related data collection and analysis much more efficient. This ultimately allows for the creation of a GIS database regarding the relationship between physical characteristics and user behaviour, something that is particularly relevant with the growing awareness for quality in public space and urban life.


behaviour mapping, electronic mapping, GIS, urban public space, usage-spatial relationship


[1] Francis, M., Koo, J. & Ramirez, S., Just a comfortable place to sit: Davis sittable space study. Department of Environmental Design, University of California, Davis, 2010. https://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.1.4434.6321

[2] Golicnik, B., GIS behaviour mapping for provision of interactive empirical knowledge, vital monitoring and better place making. in Urban Sustainability Through Environmental Design – Approaches To Time-People-Place Responsive Urban Spaces, K. Thwaites, S. Porta, O. Romice, and M. Greaves, Eds. Oxon: Routledge, 2007.

[3] Marusic, B.G., “Analysis of patterns of spatial occupancy in urban open space using behaviour maps and GIS,” Urban Design International, 16(1), pp. 36–50, 2011. https://doi.org/10.1057/udi.2010.20

[4] Reinertsen, M., The city´s main square in everyday life - a casestudy of Torget in Stavanger. Master thesis, IØRP, UiS, unpublished, 2017.

[5] Madsen, Å., The Impact of Shopping Malls on Smaller Towns - A Case Study of Svortland and Hellvik Mall. Master thesis, IØRP, UiS, 2015.

[6] Gehl, J., “Byer for mennesker,” 2010.

[7] KMD, “Byrom - En Idehåndbok,” Kommunal- og Moderniseringsdepartmentet, Oslo2017.

[8] Butenschøn, P., Folk på gaten i Norske gater og plasser. ed: Oslo: Forlaget Press, 2012.

[9] Montgomery, C., Happy city: transforming our lives through urban design. Macmillan, London, 2013.

[10] Whyte, W.H., The social life of small urban spaces. The Conservation Foundation, Washington, DC, 1980.

[11] Gehl, J., Livet mellem husene: udeaktiviteter oy udemiljøer. Arkitektens forlag, 1987.

[12] Architects, G., Bylivsundersøkelse Oslo sentrum. Olso Kommun, Olso, 2014.

[13] (2017). Handlingsprogram for Økt Byliv i Olso Sentrum.

[14] Cosco, N.G., Moore, R.C. & Islam, M.Z., Behavior mapping: a method for linking preschool physical activity and outdoor design. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 42(3), pp. 513–519, 2010. https://doi.org/10.1249/mss.0b013e3181cea27a

[15] Gehl, J., Three Types of Outdoor Activities. In The Urban Design Reader, M. Larice & E. Macdonald, (Eds.). The Routledge Urban Reader Series, Oxon: Routledge, 2007.

[16] Sørensen, A.W. & Vier, E.S., Behaviour Mapper – a tablet application for behaviour mapping. Bachelor thesis, IDE, UiS, unpublished, 2017.

[17] Jupskås, S.H., “Torget blir forsinket igjen – Stavanger Tusenårsstedet. ,” in Stavanger Aftenblad, ed. Stavanger, 30.03.2016.

[18] Grimnes, P., “Jeg er luta lei av den årelange hetsingen av Torget,” in Stavanger Aftenblad, ed. Stavanger, 01.04.2017.