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Quantifying crowd size with mobile phone and Twitter data

December 06, 2016 by Federico Botta, Helen Susannah Moat, Tobias Preis

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Being able to infer the number of people in a specific area is of extreme importance for the avoidance of crowd disasters and to facilitate emergency evacuations. Here, using a football stadium and an airport as case studies, we present evidence of a strong relationship between the number of people in restricted areas and activity recorded by mobile phone providers and the online service Twitter. Our findings suggest that data generated through our interactions with mobile phone networks and the Internet may allow us to gain valuable measurements of the current state of society.