Who goes to the beach?
This project looked at using social media data captured as part of the Urban Observatory to better understand from where people travel to our beautiful beaches. We analysed twitter to find instances where people had tweeted on the beach at Longsands in Tynemouth through the year. In total 540 visitors tweeted on the beach. Using the Twitter API a representative set of tweets from each user was extracted and the location where they tweeted from the most was calculated. For each user the distance they would have had to travel to get to Longsands was calculated. Distances were calculated using “as the crow flies” but also using the road (and air route) networks.
Unsurprisingly, the data shows that Tynemouth is a much loved destination of North East locals but people come from far and wide, with people travelling from Chile, Australia, North America, Korea and China. In August the median distance travelled was 16km and this was remarkably consistent across the year with December only being a little less at 15.5km.
The research was carried out to look into the potential of social media as a way to be able to quickly and easily understand travel patterns for beaches, shopping malls or even cities so that businesses, city councils can increase their understanding of their customers.
See the interactive website here.