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Challenges and Opportunities of Social Media Data for Socio-Environmental Systems Research

Bianca E. Lopez (), Nicholas R. Magliocca () and Andrew T. Crooks ()
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Bianca E. Lopez: National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC), University of Maryland, 1 Park Place, Suite 300, Annapolis, MD 21401, USA
Nicholas R. Magliocca: Department of Geography, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401, USA
Andrew T. Crooks: Department of Computational and Data Sciences, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22020, USA

Land, 2019, vol. 8, issue 7, 1-1

Abstract: Social media data provide an unprecedented wealth of information on people’s perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors at fine spatial and temporal scales and over broad extents. Social media data produce insight into relationships between people and the environment at scales that are generally prohibited by the spatial and temporal mismatch between traditional social and environmental data. These data thus have great potential for use in socio-environmental systems (SES) research. However, biases in who uses social media platforms, and what they use them for, create uncertainty in the potential insights from these data. Here, we describe ways that social media data have been used in SES research, including tracking land-use and environmental changes, natural resource use, and ecosystem service provisioning. We also highlight promising areas for future research and present best practices for SES research using social media data.

Keywords: social media; socio-ecological systems; human-environment interactions; geospatial analysis; crowdsourced data (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q15 Q2 Q24 Q28 Q5 R14 R52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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