Article with impact factor
Šimon, Martin, Vašát, Petr, Daňková, Hana, Gibas, Petr, Poláková, Markéta. 2020. „Mobilities and commons unseen: spatial mobility in homeless people explored through the analysis of GPS tracking data.“ GeoJournal 85 (5): 1411–1427. ISSN 0343-2521. [cit. 18.9]. Available from:

The aim of this study was to examine the spatial mobility of homeless people in urban areas, exploring homeless mobility, its drivers, limits and links to personal attributes, and whether there is an association between the extent of spatial activity and an individual’s housing situation. To our knowledge, there has been no prior exhaustive attempt to explore the spatial mobility of homeless people using Global Positioning System (GPS) location devices. The theoretical background of the research was based on time-geography approaches. The research used a mixed method approach involving participatory GPS mapping. Spatial mobility was measured by GPS location devices. GPS tracking made it possible to capture the precise location of a person in time and space, and subsequently to identify the daily and weekly mobility rhythms of such people. The GPS data were further contextualised by conducting interviews with homeless people and asking about their daily mobility. The groundwork for the interviews resulted in printed maps of the participants’ daily spatial mobility (n = 598). The combination of timelocation data and ethnographic methods presented several technical and organisational difficulties, but the pilot study provided valuable knowledge about the everyday-life mobility of homeless people in cities. A novel understanding of the links between homeless mobilities, urban commons and the life conditions of homeless people can inform current welfare policies relating to the poor.

Share this page

Attached images

Mobilities and commons unseen - Fig 1 - daily trajectories of homeless people
Mobilities and commons unseen - Fig 2 - mobility and housing
Mobilities and commons unseen - Fig 3 - volume and quality of homeless mobility
Mobilities and commons unseen - Table 1 - sample structure
Mobilities and commons unseen - Table 2 - housing condition
Mobilities and commons unseen - Table 3 - daily mobility by gender, city, housing