An extended spatiotemporal exposure index for urban racial segregation

Qingsong Liu, Mengmeng Liu, Xinyue Ye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The Segregation Index quantifies the degree of segregation of social groups or classes. Because of the increasing use of fine-grained spatiotemporal activity and flow data, the conventional segregation measurements’ inclusiveness is challenged. We add population flow to the conventional place-based spatial exposure index to identify spatiotemporal segregation changes. Specifically, we considered the population-flow network, hierarchical structure, and time. In Chicago’s demonstration case study, we first used the time-dependent Twitter Origin-Destination flow matrices and their hierarchical structure information to estimate interactions between areal units at the neighborhood level. Then we computed the new population composition of units based on their interactions with other units and estimated the proposed spatiotemporal exposure index for different times. Finally, we systematically compared their differences with the conventional indices at global and local scales to see how population-flow patterns affect the exposure index. The results show that the population-flow patterns reflect valuable information in neighborhood interactions in temporal and spatial dimensions, but it is missing information in the conventional segregation computations. Furthermore, we emphasize that the hierarchical structures of flow patterns and the choice of appropriate parameters are also important factors for a rational segregation evaluation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)530-545
Number of pages16
JournalCartography and Geographic Information Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


  • Spatiotemporal exposure index
  • flow network
  • hierarchical structure
  • residential segregation
  • spatiotemporal activity and trajectory data


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