Alessandro Cimbelli / Cinzia Conti

The Use of Big Data in Studying Migration Routes: New Tools and Applications

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In an age where people flee from their countries of origin due to the worsening of conflicts and wars, of political crisis and violence, of terrorism, of religious radicalization processes, and persecutions, policy making needs to be based on a wider and more sensible information system.

Population censuses, sample surveys as well as administrative archives, and registers are revealing some critical issues that could be partly overcome by the enormous informative potential offered by new sources and Big Data ( 2014; 2014). In this chapter, starting from the main results of a Eurostat project on the »Standardization and geocoding of place names in the database of migratory flows«, granted to the Italian Institute of Statistics, two studies, based on innovative applications, will be described. The first one concerns a method of estimation of the refugee camps extension and population dimension using optical satellite free data; the second one reconstructs complex migration routes combining data of global and local movement of migrants across different countries and territories, using the residence permits data from 2007 to 2012.