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Travel Characteristics Past, Present, and Future –

Communicating Information Derived from the National Household Travel Survey



Task Force on Understanding New Directions for the National Household Travel Survey (ABJ45T)


Call Description

The Task Force will host a poster session at the 2014 Annual Meeting featuring tools and strategies used to communicate National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) data to various user groups. Of particular interest to the Task Force are innovative means of communicating information derived from the NHTS that convey the utility and value of these data. Featured posters will be highlighted in Task Force findings to FHWA as effective examples of conveying the value derived from this long-running and comprehensive data set. A special submittal deadline for this call has been established. Abstracts are due no later than Wednesday, September 4th. Following are details on this call and the associated submission process. 



Since 1969, the National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) has surveyed Americans on their travel behaviors and patterns, generating an unparalleled compilation of longitudinal travel characteristics for the nation. The legacy of this national data collection and dissemination effort has resulted in a wide variety of applications for a diverse array of users. NHTS users mine this data to inform decision makers, educate the public, support research, and enhance model development. It serves as a unique platform for analyzing past, present, and future travel trends and provides essential input for many different processes.


The Task Force on Understanding New Directions for the National Household Travel Survey (ABJ45T) is charged with understanding ways in which the data are used and can be improved, and evaluating impacts of potential changes in survey methodology on different user groups. During its investigations the Task Force realized the challenge of communicating the value of NHTS data and ways in which it can be successfully used to support a myriad of uses including transportation planning and analysis, demographic research, public and policy maker education, trend analysis, and public health policy, to name but a few.


The Task Force decided to identify and showcase at the 2014 Annual Meeting a select few examples that demonstrate creative ways of communicating the value of this important data set.  Recognizing the role of visual media in today’s communications, the Task Force is soliciting posters or other graphic means of visualization and communication that convey the utility and value of the NHTS and the data it yields. In keeping with the theme of the 2014 meeting – Celebrating Our Legacy, Anticipating Our Future – the Task Force is interested in illustrating the diversity of uses and applications supported by the NHTS and the longitudinal value of this long-running survey in developing this poster session.


Poster Session Guidelines

Those selected for this session will prepare a poster for presentation at the 2014 Annual Meeting in January. Participants are not required to prepare a paper to be eligible. Each presenter will be provided with a table and a 4’ x 8’ vertical panel for displaying posters and other materials. An electrical connection will be available at each station. Telephone and internet connections will not be available. TRB's guidelines for poster presenters are available at http://www.trb.org/Guidelines/PosterPresenters.pdf . Presenters are expected to attend and participate in this session. Presentation teams are welcome. The Task Force is working to create an innovative poster / discussion format, details of which will be finalized during the session planning process. It is anticipated that this will be a dynamic and highly interactive session.


Submission Instructions

A special deadline for abstract submittals has been established. Interested candidates should submit an abstract explaining their project and poster concept by 11:59 pm PDT on Wednesday, September 4, 2013. The abstract should be no more than a single one-sided page in length (approximately 500 words) and include:


·      Contact information (name, agency/organization, phone number, email address)

·      Title of your proposed poster for use in the Annual Meeting agenda

·      Explanation of the project, research or process using NHTS data and how the data were used;

·      Ways in which visualization or other graphic communication tools were deployed and the role this played in the project, research or process;

·      Any innovative discoveries or lessons learned about communicating NHTS data that can be useful to FHWA and other users; and

·      Preliminary description of the information to be conveyed in your poster.


You are welcome to include links to on-line materials that illustrate visualization or graphic communication concepts described in your abstract but this will not substitute for the information requested in the abstract.


The Task Force will not consider sales presentations on products or services.


Abstracts should be in a PDF format and submitted to:


Stacey Bricka



Include the term “NHTS Poster Abstract” in the subject line.


Selection Process

A session-development subcommittee will review all abstracts to identify those that most effectively demonstrate innovative communication techniques conveying the value of NHTS data and its use. The Task Force hopes to identify posters representing a diverse array of uses and applications. Abstracts that support the 2014 Annual Meeting spotlight theme, “Celebrating Our Legacy, Anticipating Our Future” are encouraged.


Applicants will be notified in mid-September of their selection.


For More Information

Questions about the poster session or the abstract submittal process should be directed to:


Stacey Bricka



Krishnan Viswanathan
5628 Burnside Circle
Tallahassee FL 32312