Research period: 2020 - 2022
TETRA project with support of Agentschap Innoveren & Ondernemen
In collaboration with IDLab of University of Antwerp-imec
Counting visitors at events is more important than ever due to the corona crisis. Having a clear view on how many visitors are present at a location is the basis of crowd management.
More than that: crowd counting is the basis and the starting point for every form of crowd management and crowd control, also post-corona.
The accuracy of counting methods
Measuring crowds is a challenge. The organiser, security personnel, law enforcement and other stakeholders often speak of different numbers of visitors at the same event. Technological counting methods also contradict each other. There is a strong need for calibrations for different counting methods.
Never before has research been conducted that compares the accuracy of different counting methods in such a systematic way.
Manual and technological counting methods
This project looks into the accuracy of manual click and quadrant counting methods as well as the accuracy of four technological counting methods often used at events: camera, Wi-Fi, mobile data and radio waves.
Radio waves are used as a technology in the ‘MensenMassaMeter’, a counting method developed by fellow researchers at IDLab-imec. In contrast to counting with Wi-Fi, visitors do not need a mobile phone to be counted with radio waves.
We test the counting methods at several events of different types and sizes. This way, we can collect sufficient scientifically substantiated data. We examine the differences in accuracy per counting method and compare the results and error margins per type of event.
The results of the research were compiled in a handy tool. The Crowd Counter can be used to determine the most suitable counting method(s) for your event.