Geo-located tweets. Enhancing mobility maps and capturing cross-border movement

Justine I. Blanford, Zhuojie Huang, Alexander Savelyev, Alan M. MacEachren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Capturing human movement patterns across political borders is difficult and this difficulty highlights the need to investigate alternative data streams. With the advent of smart phones and the ability to attach accurate coordinates to Twitter messages, users leave a geographic digital footprint of their movement when posting tweets. In this study we analyzed 10 months of geo-located tweets for Kenya and were able to capture movement of people at different temporal (daily to periodic) and spatial (local, national to international) scales. We were also able to capture both long and short distances travelled, highlighting regional connections and cross-border movement between Kenya and the surrounding countries. The findings from this study has broad implications for studying movement patterns and mapping inter/intra-region movement dynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0129202
JournalPloS one
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 18 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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