Big Data


Technological advances have enabled the emerge of ‘Big Data’ through the production, processing, analysis and storage of large volumes of digital data. Data that could not previously be stored or used to be captured using analogue devices can now be digitally recorded. This chapter identifies and discusses the existing and future challenges and opportunities of Big Data for human geography. Big Data offer high geographic and temporal granularity, extensive coverage and instant information to transform our understanding of human interactions and our social world. At the same time, Big Data present major epistemological, methodological and ethical challenges which need to be addressed to realise these opportunities. I identify the key challenges and actions for the future of human geography emerging from the use of Big Data.

Concise Encyclopedia of Human Geography. Edward Elgar Encyclopedias in the Social Sciences series
Francisco Rowe
Francisco Rowe
Professor of Population Data Science

My research interests include human mobility and migration; economic geography and spatial inequality; geographic data science.