Could Twitter help plan transportation routes?
Sometimes, there are powerful tools that uses much less focusing them had devised them. Twitter is a great example, since its inception has been increasing its number of potential uses and every company or individual can provide different functions for your benefit. From some very unfortunate , the example of today published by The Guardian , a more complex and surprising, and that can help national and local governments plan for the future of their transport systems.
The idea came from Eric Fischer, who has compiled geolocation data from more than a million tweets based on trips that took place in August 2011. Data collected in some areas of both the U.S. and the UK and the European continent, in order to obtain a very visually reflected in a map-mobility flows of its inhabitants and thus know what are the busiest routes of each region. While data could help authorities plan the adequacy of transportation routes or creating new ones based on the volume of traffic to be borne, and therefore delay or impede the movement of citizens.
The millions of tweets that took Fischer to develop these maps were crossed with data transport nodes of each country. The result, which we can see in the pictures: regional maps, national or continental overlapping the most used routes based on these data, the thickest being the most used on volume of tweets were sent during route, making it a useful cartogram for urban planners.
A first potential use what would the cartogram UK project managers because of HS2 (High Speed 2) may be welcomed and used for the benefit of future users of these data. Unlike the case of the European transport network, it is obvious that they did with a smaller number of data: only 60,000 travel for an entire continent. Furthermore, the author himself acknowledges that some data are misleading because the proportional use of Twitter in the UK or the Netherlands is much higher than in other countries.
In the cases of the three North American cities, it is contemplated the different levels of complexity depending on the topography and composition of the urban area. From the case of New York, where he quickly checks the density of use of Broadway and its structure defined subway, until the surprising Chicago, for its 10,000 data points taken to a grid OpenStreet reveal a thick Route Maps southwesterly not correspond to any main road or any railroad. Also noteworthy is the San Francisco, that due to the precision wide radius of tweets makes it impossible to know exactly how accurate circulating road or highway users.
The potential uses that can be obtained from these data are many, and certainly governments are interested in this alternative and novel way to have a little more control in the hands of the flow of movement of its citizens. The complete maps can be found on Flickr of the author.Tags: geolocation, maps, Twitter