An analysis of twitter as a relevant human mobility proxy A comparative approach in spain during the COVID-19 pandemic
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SourceGeoInformatica, Vol. 26, Núm. 4, 2022, pp. 677-706
During the last years, the analysis of spatio-temporal data extracted from Online Social Networks (OSNs) has become a prominent course of action within the human-mobility mining discipline. Due to the noisy and sparse nature of these data, an important effort has been done on validating these platforms as suitable mobility proxies. However, such a validation has been usually based on the computation of certain features from the raw spatio-temporal trajectories extracted from OSN documents. Hence, there is a scarcity of validation studies that evaluate whether geo-tagged OSN data are able to measure the evolution of the mobility in a region at multiple spatial scales. For that reason, this work proposes a comprehensive comparison of a nation-scale Twitter (TWT) dataset and an official mobility survey from the Spanish National Institute of Statistics. The target time period covers a three-month interval during which Spain was heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Both feeds have been compared in this context by considering different mobility-related features and spatial scales. The results show that TWT could capture only a limited number features of the latent mobility behaviour of Spain during the study period.
SubjectsHuman mobility; Spatio-temporal knowledge processing; Online social networks; COVID-19
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