Big data and human geography: Opportunities, challenges and risks

Kitchin, Rob (2013) Big data and human geography: Opportunities, challenges and risks. Dialogues in Human Geography, 3 (3). pp. 262-267. ISSN 2043-8206

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We are entering an era of big data – data sets that are characterised by high volume, velocity, variety, exhaustivity, resolution and indexicality, relationality and flexibility. Much of these data are spatially and temporally referenced and offer many possibilities for enhancing geographical understanding, including for post-positivist scholars. Big data also, however, poses a number of challenges and risks to geographic scho- larship and raises a number of taxing epistemological, methodological and ethical questions. Geographers need to grasp the opportunities whilst at the same time tackling the challenges, ameliorating the risks and thinking critically about big data as well as conducting big data studies. Failing to do so could be quite costly as the discipline gets left behind as others leverage insights from the growing data deluge.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: big data; data deluge; human geography; methodology; praxis; theory;
Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Geography
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Institutes > National Institute for Regional and Spatial analysis, NIRSA
Item ID: 5366
Identification Number: 10.1177/2043820613513388
Depositing User: Prof. Rob Kitchin
Date Deposited: 04 Sep 2014 15:45
Journal or Publication Title: Dialogues in Human Geography
Publisher: Sage Publications
Refereed: Yes

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