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Chapter 5 Tracking via Geotagged Social Media Data

DOI: 10.23912/9781911635383-4575

ISBN: 9781911635383

Published: Nov 2020

Component type: chapter

Published in: Tracking Tourists

Parent DOI: 10.23912/9781911635383-4277



Over the past twenty years, social media has changed the ways in which we plan, travel and reflect on our travels. Tourists use social media while travelling to stay in touch with friends and family, enhance their social status (Guo et al., 2015); and assist others with decision making (Xiang and Gretzel, 2010; Yoo and Gretzel, 2010). They also use it to report back to their friends and family where they are. This can be done using a geotag function that provides a location for where a post is made. While little is known about why tourists choose to geotag their social media posts, Chung and Lee (2016) suggest that geotags may be used in an altruistic manner by tourists, in order to provide information, and because they elicit a sense of anticipated reward. What is known, however, is that the function offers researchers the ability to understand where tourists travel. There are two types of geotagged social media data. The first of these is discussed in this chapter and may be defined as single point geo-referenced data – geotagged social media posts whose release is chosen by the user. This includes data gathered from social media apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and WeiChat. The method of obtaining this data involves the collation of large numbers of discrete geotagged updates or photographs. Data can be collated via an application programming interface (API) provided by the app developer to researchers, by automated data scraping via computer programs, perhaps written in Python, or manually by researchers. The second type of data is continuous location-based data from applications that are designed to track movement constantly, such as Strava or MyFitnessPal. Tracking methods using this continuous location-based data are discussed in detail in the following chapter.

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Hardy, 2020

Hardy, A. (2020) "Chapter 5 Tracking via Geotagged Social Media Data" In: Hardy, A. (ed) . Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers http://dx.doi.org/10.23912/9781911635383-4575


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