Create a Zone Activity Analysis


In this guide, we will review how to set up a basic Zone Activity Analysis. Our Zone Activity Analysis allows users to get the volume of trips that originate in, have destinations in, or pass through the Zones. This Project type produces Metrics that are fundamental to many StreetLight InSight Projects. As a result, Zone Activity Metrics are automatically included in the downloads for Origin-Destination Analysis, Origin-Destination by Pre-set Geography, and Origin-Destination with Middle-Filter Projects.

The Zone Activity Analysis is useful when trying to understand movements in a Zone, regardless of where a trip originates or ends. For example, a Zone Activity Analysis might be useful if you wanted to investigate which 10 ZIP Codes are the biggest trip generators during peak AM hours on weekdays or drive by activity for a billboard next to a busy highway. Also, Zone Activity Analyses are commonly used in conjunction with our Premium Trip and Traveler Attributes. Learn more about our premium trip attributes.

For this guide, we will use the neighborhoods around downtown Chicago. This is a good example because many people work in downtown Chicago, so it is important to understand the activity in the area since many people commute to work from the surrounding areas. While this is a good example, many other types of areas and regions will work just as well for a Zone Activity Analysis.


  • Following along with this specific example will only work for accounts without a defined region or a region that covers the Chicago area. For other accounts with regional boundaries, you will have to follow along using Zone Sets that work for your specific area.
  • If your account has a unique Zone quota, make sure to indicate in your Zone Set name and Project name that you are running our Zone Activity Analysis example. This will alert Support that you are using Zones for training purposes.

Create and Run a Zone Activity Analysis

Step 1: Ensure you have Zone Sets

1a. You will need to have Zone Sets for a Zone Activity Analysis Project Type. Learn more about uploading or drawing Zones.

For a Zone Activity Analysis, you will only need one Zone Set:

  • Selected Zone Set
  • Can be Pass-through or Non-Pass-through
  • Can be a Line Segment or Polygon Zone.

Note: Zones that are that are Line Segments will be assessed at the Middle Gate.

In our example, we uploaded neighborhoods of Chicago.

Note: Remember that once you use a Zone Set in a Project, it will no longer be available for editing. Before creating your Project you can edit the names, borders, direction, etc. of your Zone Sets. Learn more about editing a Zone Set.

Step 2: Set Up Zone Activity Analysis

2a. Go to the “Create Projects” tab under the “Manage Travel Projects” section.

2b. Give your Project a unique name. For this example, we will name our Project “Central Business District--Chicago Neighborhoods.”

2c. Optional: You can type a description of the Project in the description box with any information you want to remember about the Project.

 2d. In the “Select a Project Type” drop-down menu, select Zone Activity Analysis. This will automatically populate your Type of Travel, Mode of Travel, and Data Source Type. For Zone Activity Analysis you will have the following options. Learn more about these options. 

  • Type of Travel: Personal or Commercial
  • Mode of Travel: All Modes, Bicycles*, or Pedestrians* (more modes are coming)
  • Data Source Type: Location-Based Service with Pass-through or Navigation-GPS
  • Calibration Type: “None (StreetLight Index)”, “Single Factor with User-provided Counts”, or “Single Factor with StreetLight AADT”*

*available for certain subscription levels

Note: You can also choose Premium Attributes for Zone Activity Analysis. Learn more about Premium Attributes.

 For our example, we chose Personal for Type of Travel, All Modes for Mode of Travel, and Location-Based Service with Pass-through for our Data Source.



Step 3: Choose your Zone Sets

3a. Select your Zone Set in the “Available Zone Sets” Box.

Note: All Zone Sets that are available for use in your account will appear in the list in the “Available Zone Sets” box. Zones must be located within your designated subscription region to be used in a Project. Learn more about viewing your subscription region. 

3b. Use the arrow button next to the corresponding “Selected Zone Set(s)” to move your selected Zone Set.

For this example, we will select “Central Business District Chicago” as our Zone Set.

Pro Tip: You can have multiple Zone Sets for a Zone Activity Analysis.

Step 4: Configure Project Options

4a. For any Zone Activity Analysis, you can click “Edit” to change various Project options. You can change:

  • The Data Period
  • The Day Types
  • The Day Parts
  • Specific Dates*
  • Weigh Class Segregation*
  • Premium Trip Bins*

*available for certain subscription levels


4b. When you click edit, a new window will pop-up. This window will allow you to edit and manipulate your Project options.


Step 5: Preview and Confirm your Project

5a. Make sure to Preview your Project before you confirm. This gives you a chance to double check that your Project is set up exactly the way you want it to be.

5b. Click “confirm” and your Project will begin running.

 Projects will take anywhere from a few seconds to a few hours to run, depending on their size and complexity. 

Note: Zone Activity Analysis Projects go into Coverage Review if our system notices that a Zone has low trip counts. This could occur for various reasons:

  • Your area Zone is in a rural area or is very small
  • You used one or two months of data to run your Project
  • You indicated direction on a Zone that did not match up with normal traffic flow
  • Your pass-through Zone did not align with the OSM layer.

Once the Project is Available, you can analyze the results via the Interactive Visualizations or by downloading the Metrics.

Interactive Visualizations

Step 1: Go to the “Interactive Visualizations” section

Step 2: Select your Project in the “Select a Project” box by clicking the title of your Project.

Within the Interactive Visualization tool, you can analyze results by type of day and time of day, by Origin Zone or Destination Zone you are visualizing, and more. Learn more about our Interactive Visualization tool. 

Our Example  

For our Zone Activity Analysis, we chose to look at weekday volumes of traffic that ended in the Central Business District in Chicago. We can tell from the visualization that 34% of daily traffic to the Central Business District ends up within the Loop--downtown Chicago.  

If you have access to Premium Attributes we recommend running them with a Zone Activity Analysis. This will add a layer to your analysis and are great to check out while in the interactive visualizations. In our example, we can see from the trip attributes visualization that 54.5% of people who are starting or ending their trips during the Peak AM time period are traveling five miles or less, but 31.4% of trips are between 20-40 minutes. This could point to congestion issues in the area during Peak AM hours.


Downloaded Metrics

Step 1: Download your Project Metrics from StreetLight InSight.

Learn more on downloading Metrics. 

 Step 2: Analyze the Metrics.

For a Zone Activity Analysis, we recommend starting with the Interactive Visualizations. While the downloaded Metrics can be helpful, most of the information will be better organized in our interactive visualization.



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