Study Uses Mobiles and Twitter Usage to Estimate Crowd Sizes

By David Murphy

san siro

The scientists based their study on people attending games at the San Siro football stadium in Milan

New findings by scientists from the Data Science Lab at Warwick Business School suggest that data generated simply through our use of mobile phones and Twitter might offer surprisingly accurate estimates of crowd sizes.

Federico Botta, Suzy Moat and Tobias Preis, of Warwick Business School, analysed Twitter and mobile phone data from Milan, Italy, and found that they could estimate attendance numbers for football matches at the San Siro stadium, as well as the number of people at Linate Airport at any given time.

Their research, published in Royal Society Open Science, could be of value in a range of emergency situations, such as evacuations and crowd disasters.

“Measuring crowd size is a difficult task, as the hugely varying estimates we see of the number of people at protests underline,” said Botta. “Given that most people now carry a mobile phone with them, we wondered if we could measure the number of people in a given location simply by analysing data on usage of these mobile phones. We found that this automatically-generated data provides an excellent basis for estimating the size of a crowd. Quick and accurate …read more

Source:: Mobile App News