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Quantifying International Travel Flows Using Flickr

Barchiesi, D; Moat, HS; Alis, C; Bishop, S; Preis, T; (2015) Quantifying International Travel Flows Using Flickr. PLOS ONE , 10 (7) 10.1371/journal.pone.0128470. Green open access

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Abstract

Online social media platforms are opening up new opportunities to analyse human behaviour on an unprecedented scale. In some cases, the fast, cheap measurements of human behaviour gained from these platforms may offer an alternative to gathering such measurements using traditional, time consuming and expensive surveys. Here, we use geotagged photographs uploaded to the photo-sharing website Flickr to quantify international travel flows, by extracting the location of users and inferring trajectories to track their movement across time. We find that Flickr based estimates of the number of visitors to the United Kingdom significantly correlate with the official estimates released by the UK Office for National Statistics, for 28 countries for which official estimates are calculated. Our findings underline the potential for indicators of key aspects of human behaviour, such as mobility, to be generated from data attached to the vast volumes of photographs posted online.

Type: Article
Title: Quantifying International Travel Flows Using Flickr
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0128470
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0128470
Language: English
Additional information: © 2015 Barchiesi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Civil, Environ and Geomatic Eng
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Mathematics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1472170
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