Be FAIR to Pedestrian Dynamics Data




FAIR data principles, Metadata schema, Data archive, Database, Trajectory format, Geometry format, Open access, Standardization


For improving the safety of people in large crowds, it is of great importance to understand the basic mechanisms of pedestrian dynamics, e.g. with help of experiments. The number of openly shared datasets of these experiments has increased in the last years also due to stricter requirements from journals and funders. We share our own experimental data by an open access data archive which data is widely used in the community.

However, our data and also data of other researchers in the field of pedestrian dynamics is not annotated in a systematic or semantically harmonized way, which impairs FAIRness in general and interoperability specifically. In this paper, we propose a standardized extensible metadata schema and key data structures for trajectories and geometry. The proposed metadata schema and data structures hopefully support the interoperability within the community and will assist to make data reutilization more efficient.

Our own legacy datasets are continuously annotated with essential information using this metadata schema steadily. This metadata is provided beside the converted data on our data archive and thus enhance its findability and reusability.


Shi, X., Ye, Z., Shiwakoti, N., Grembek, O.: A state-of-the-art review on empirical data collection for external governed pedestrians complex movement (2018). doi:10.1155/2018/1063043

Feng, Y., Duives, D., Daamen, W., Hoogendoorn, S.: Data collection methods for studying pedestrian behaviour: A systematic review. Building and Environment 187, 107329 (2021). doi:10.1016/j.buildenv.2020.107329

Forschungszentrum Jülich, Institute for Advanced Simulation: Data archive of experiments on pedestrian dynamics. doi:10.34735/ped.da

Wilkinson, M. D. et al.: The FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship. Scientific Data 3(1), 160018 (2016). doi:10.1038/sdata.2016.18

Schrödter, T.: PedPy - Pedestrian Trajectory Analyzer. Forschungszentrum Jülich (2022). doi:10.5281/zenodo.10814490

International Organization for Standardization (ISO): Records Management Standard 15489-1:2016. URL Accessed: 2023-10-31

Research Organization Registry (ROR). URL

Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID). URL

Forschungszentrum Jülich, Institute for Advanced Simulation: Information about Trajectory and Metadata File Format. URL

Feldmann, S., Adrian, J., Boomers, A.K., Boltes, M., Čamernik, J., Ernst, M., Kandler, A., Lügering, H., Schrödter, T., Seyfried, A., Sieben, A.: Forward propagation of a push through a row of people (2022). doi:10.34735/ped.2022.2

The HDF Group: Hierarchical Data Format, version 5 (1997). URL

International Organization for Standardization (ISO): Information technology – database languages – sql multimedia and application packages – part 3: Spatial 13249-3:2016. URL Accessed: 2023-10-31

Gillies, S.: Shapely: Manipulation and analysis of geometric objects (Polygon) (2007). URL

Cover image




How to Cite

Boltes, M., & Kandler, A. (2024). Be FAIR to Pedestrian Dynamics Data. Collective Dynamics, 9, 1–8.



Special Issue of Pedestrian and Evacuation Dynamics 2023