A new study has revealed that it is possible to count the number of people crowded in a single location using data from Twitter and cell phones.
Warwick University researchers used geo-tagged tweets and mobile phone activity to successfully crowd count, according to a study recently published in Royal Society Open Science.
The researchers used a football stadium and an airport as locations in the study. It was observed that in both locations the Twitter and cell phone usage rose and fell in close connection to the flow of people in the area.
The study's authors said the results were "a very good starting point" for making more of these estimates - with greater accuracy - in the future, BBC News reports.
The study is just one in part of a growing research field that aims to understand human behaviour through exploring the use of the Internet and online activities.
The method relies on easily accessible data, not on human judgement, which makes it a very quick method for gathering statistics. However, there is a 13 percent margin of error, which is quite high, Business Standard reports. The team of researchers on the topic is very optimistic of the results from the newly published study though. They believe the data can be used to count crowds in at events such as protests or rallies.