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The Route Towards The Shawshank Redemption: Mapping Set-jetting with Social Media

By Mengqian Yang


With the development of the Web 2.0, more and more geospatial data are generated via social media. This segment of what is now called “big data” can be used to further study human spatial behaviors and practices. This project aims to explore different ways of extracting geodata from social media in order to contribute to the growing body of literature dedicated to studying the contribution of the geoweb to human geography. More specifically, this project focuses on the potential of social media to explore a growing tourism phenomenon: set-jetting. Set-jetting refers to the activity whereby people travel to visit shooting locations that appear in movies. The case study presented here focuses on the Mansfield Reformatory (Ohio, USA), which was used as the shooting location for the film The Shawshank Redemption (Dir. Frank Darabont, 1994). Through the analysis of georeferenced data mined from Twitter, Flickr, and Tripadvisor, this project presents and discusses the differences and similarities between the use of these three platforms by set-jetters to share and access geodata associated with an alternative tourist destination. The results demonstrate the complementarity of each of these applications to studying set-jetting at different scales. While Twitter appears more appropriate to study this phenomenon at a global scale, Tripadvisor provides more relevant information at the regional level and Flickr can be mobilized to study the movements of set-jetters at a very local scale. Overall, beyond the methodological and technological issues associated with the use of these social media in studying the geography of set-jetting, these applications offer new perspectives for the tourism industry and open new research areas for academics as well

Year: 2015
OAI identifier: oai:

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