In the recent years, the data collected by mobile phone carriers -Call Detail Records (CDRs)- has attracted the interest of the telecom, academic and government sectors because of their underlying potential to understand mobility patterns, communication activity and social interactions.

Thanks to this data, it has been possible to classify the socio-economic level of some regions, DATA Mapaobserve migration patterns, monitor disease outbreaks or understand the management during distasters such as earthquakes or floodings.

This data combined with remote sensing data, open data and other sources information and technologies such as GIS, would at some point be critical to obtain proxy indicators for real-time early warning systems and optimize humanitarian help improving the identification of target beneficiaries and the decision making.

These projects have been developed through international partnerships involving the UPM, private telecom companies such as Telefonica and Orange and other organizations such as UN Global Pulse, World Food Programme or Ministries from Senegal or México.


Pedro J. Zufiria, David Pastor-Escuredo, Luis Úbeda Medina, Miguel A.Hernández Medina, Iker Barriales Valbuena, Alfredo J. Morales, Wilfred Nkwambi, John Quinn, Paula Hidalgo Sanchís , Miguel Luengo Oroz. “Mobility profiles and calendars for food security and Livelihoods analysis”. Orange-D4D Challenge Senegal, NetMob 2015, Media Lab-MIT, Cambridge, USA (PDF)

Alfredo J. Morales, David Pastor-Escuredo, Yolanda Torres-Fernández, V. Fras-Martnez, E. Fras-Martnez, N. Oliver, A. Rutherford, T. Logar, R. Clausen-Nielsen, O. De Backer, M. A. Luengo-Oroz “Studying Human Behavior through the Lens of Mobile Phones during Floods”. Book of papers NetMob 2015, Media Lab-MIT, Cambridge, USA (PDF)

David. Pastor-Escuredo, Alfredo Morales-Guzmán, Yolanda Torres-Fernández, Jean-Martin Bauer, Amit Wadhwa, Carlos Castro-Correa, Liudmyla Romanoff, Jong Gun Lee, Alex Rutherford, Vanessa Frias-Martinez, Nuria Oliver, Enrique Frias-Martinez, Miguel Luengo-Oroz “Floodings through the lens of mobile phone activity.” Proceedings of IEEE Global Humanitarian Technologies Conference 2014, Silicon Valley, San Jose, CA, USA. (PDF)

David Pastor-Escuredo, Thierry Savy, Miguel Ángel Luengo-Oroz. “Can Fire, Night Lights and Mobile Phones reveal behavioral fingerprints useful for development?” Orange-D4D Challenge, NetMob 2013, Media Lab-MIT, Cambridge USA (PDF)


Big Data and Floods. Executive brief UNGP:

Guest Blog Post: Mobile Phone Data for Disaster Management