Mobile, Twitter data can be used to estimate crowd size: Study
London: In an era of mobile internet, data is a key element in many fields. Now researchers say they can even use geographical data from mobile phones and Twitter to estimate the size of a large crowd. Over a two-month long study in Milan, researchers from Britain’s Warwick University analysed geotagged tweets and mobile phone use, based on the mobile data provided by local carrier. They focused their study on two locations in the city, a football stadium and an airport. Through flight schedules and football ticket sales, they acquired the number of visitors and then compared these figures with mobile phone activities, such as phone calls and text messages, internet use, and tweets. Researchers said these activities followed a similar pattern with the flow of visitors, which enables them to estimate the crowd size of an event, Xinhua reported. For example, a total of 10 football matches took place in the stadium during the study period, and researchers can use mobile internet data from any nine of those matches to predict the number of visitors at the tenth one.