Recreating Human Mobility Patterns through the Lens of Social Media: Using Twitter to Model the Social Ecology of Crime

Studies of neighborhood crime are often limited in their ability to account for the dynamic nature of human mobility, a central tenet of prominent theoretical perspectives on the spatial distribution of crime. Yet, recent work indicates the utility of social media data for estimating the size and composition of such ambient population. In the present study, we assess whether four Twitter-derived measures are associated with crime counts across 2,348 block groups. Specifically, we focus on the density of Twitter users (and tweets), as well as the proportion of Twitter users (and tweets) that are "insiders." We inferred Twitter users' "insider" location from the block group in which they tweeted most frequently.