Big (Geo)Data in Social Sciences: Challenges and Opportunities

Javier Gutiérrez-Puebla, Juan Carlos García-Palomares, María Henar Salas-Olmedo

Resumen


Currently we are witnessing a revolution in the production and processing of massive data (Big Data). Although the main users of such data are companies, social researchers have also found interesting possibilities in the analysis of Big Data, with new approaches to old questions or even with the approach to issues that could not be addressed with traditional data. This article is a review of research papers using geolocated massive data, Big (Geo)Data, and shows examples of their application in research, grouping the papers according to data sources: mobile phone calls records, social networks, communities of geolocated photos, credit card transactions records, transport smart cards, car navigators, etc. The paper concludes with some reflections on the advantages of Big (Geo)Data in social sciences research (high temporal and spatial resoluction, and, in many cases, global coverage and free of charge), but it also highlights some of the main problems arising from their use, such as bias, processing capacity and access barriers.

Palabras clave


Big Data; geolocalized data; social networks; mobile telephones; smart cards

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