This paper explores the potential of volunteered geographical information from social media for informing geographical models of behavior, based on a case study of museums in Yorkshire, UK. A spatial interaction model of visitors to 15 museums from 179 administrative zones is constructed to test this potential. The main input dataset comprises geo-tagged messages harvested using the Twitter Streaming Application Programming Interface (API), filtered, analyzed and aggregated to allow direct comparison with the model's output. Comparison between model output and tweet information allowed the calibration of model parameters to optimize the fit between flows to museums inferred from tweets and flow matrices generated by the spatial interaction model. We conclude that volunteered geographic information from social media sites have great potential for informing geographical models of behavior, especially if the volume of geo-tagged social media messages continues to increase. However, we caution that volunteered geographical information from social media has some major limitations so should be used only as a supplement to more consistent data sources or when official datasets are unavailable.
- Pub Date:
- March 2014
- Statistics - Methodology;
- Computer Science - Computers and Society;
- Computer Science - Social and Information Networks
- A concise version of this article was submitted to GISRUK2014 conference