Researchers Pull Social Media Data to Track Migration

The limitations (and inaccuracies) of traditional data sources like the U.S. Census are well known, so researchers are looking social media to gather the data necessary to draw conclusions about societal movements.
August 10, 2014, 7am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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According to an article by Federico Guerrini, "researchers are turning to social networks, using the zillion data produced by users as a tool to monitor recent trends in migration."

Guerrini focuses on the example of a study called "Inferring International and Internal Migration Patterns from Twitter Data," which sourced and mapped 500,000 tweets to track migration in and out of countries.

Guerrini examines the study, not only for the conclusions of the study, but also as an example of researchers are improving on existing methods and harnessing the power of social media. In fact, says Guerrini, "[researchers] believe that combining this method with more classic approaches developed in the social sciences could help significantly improve medium-term forecasts." 

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Published on Friday, August 8, 2014 in Forbes
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