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Measuring the size of a crowd using Instagram

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Measuring the size of a crowd in a specific location can be of crucial importance for crowd management, in particular in emergency situations. Here, using two football stadiums as case studies, we present evidence that data generated through interactions with the social media platform Instagram can be used to generate estimates of the size of a crowd. We present a detailed analysis of the impact of varying the time period and spatial area considered for the collection of Instagram data. Crucially, we demonstrate how to address issues that arise from changes in the usage of a social media platform such as Instagram. Our findings show how social media datasets carrying location-based information may help provide near to real-time measurements of the size of a crowd.




Botta, F., Moat, H. S., & Preis, T. (2020). Measuring the size of a crowd using Instagram. Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science, 47(9), 1690–1703.

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