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Facebook can map human migration across the globe

Facebook can show, via its users, that cities like Chennai in India, Istanbul in Turkey and Lagos is Nigeria are experiencing a massive influx from more rural areas.

Facebook migrationEnlarge
I like the way you move. (Facebook/Courtesy)

Though the thought of large internet companies collecting our data to share with others and sell us things is often unsettling, all of that information can be used to understand our world a little better.

Facebook has recently shown that the data it collects can show global migration patterns or "coordinated migration" from once place to another.

Data from users listing both their hometown and current city have showed the incredible patterns of urbanization, emigration and immigration all around the world.

Facebook can show, via its users, that cities like Chennai in India, Istanbul in Turkey and Lagos is Nigeria are experiencing a massive influx of people from more rural areas.

Lagos, followed by Istanbul, Bogota, Bangkok, Accra and Hyderabad make up the top cities for migrants. London comes in 10th, says Facebook, with the vast majority coming from other parts of the UK.

They also show the enormous movements between countries like Cuba and Mexico to the United States.

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Wired points out that the data, though interesting, is not peer-reviewed and cannot be analyzed by scientists given the personal data of Facebook users it involves.

An earlier study of migration using Facebook profiles done by an American researchers was threatened with a lawsuit from the internet giant.

Of course the research has a number of problems, including the fact that it only incorporates Facebook users, which have access to computers and are literate.

Facebook also did not say the exact number of people that make up the maps.

That said, it's still interesting to see how innocuous social media information can tell us the amazing story of human migration in the modern day.

To see the maps Facebook created click here.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business/technology/131231/facebook-can-map-human-migration-across-the-globe