Monday, June 08, 2009

Cell phone data used to measure the economic impact of a tourist attraction

For those interested in the intersection of new tech habits & money, this article might be a good read (also, maybe, in the future, the methods mentioned in the article could be used for relatively quickly & accurately figuring out the economic impact of film festivals & other indie film biz related events/tourist attractions). From NYC Waterfalls: How Real-Time Cell Phone Data Can Impact Local Economies:

"From a research point of view, the point of NYC Waterfalls was to map the distribution of visitors to the exhibit, and reveal where they took photos and communicated with their mobile phones. So the scope of this project was more than the previous research in cities such as Florence and Rome, where only the presence and movements of tourists was mapped."

And:

"The lab's findings were many. While the results may not be surprising (the waterfalls attracted more visitors!), what's important is that cellphone data provided quantifiable data about how much of an increase in activity the waterfalls generated. For example, the number of phone calls showed an increase of the "attractiveness" of waterfall vantage points by 39.1% in comparison to other points of interests in the vicinity - such as the WTC site, City Hall and Wall Street. This was based on historical cellphone data of the area, as well as the waterfall time period."

Read the rest of the article at ReadWriteWeb.

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