The Internet as Quantitative Social Science Platform: Insights from a Trillion Observations

With the large-scale penetration of the internet, for the first time, humanity has become linked by a single, open, communications platform. Harnessing this fact, we report insights arising from a unified internet activity and location dataset of an unparalleled scope and accuracy drawn from over a trillion (1.5$\times 10^{12}$) observations of end-user internet connections, with temporal resolution of just 15min over 2006-2012. We show how these data can be used to provide scientific insights in diverse fields such as technological diffusion, chronobiology and economics.  To our knowledge, our study is the first of its kind to use online/offline activity of the entire internet to infer such insights, demonstrating the potential of the internet as a quantitative social data-science platform.

Source: arxiv.org