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Reddit: A novel data source for cultural ecosystem service studies

Reddit: A novel data source for cultural ecosystem service studies
Reddit: A novel data source for cultural ecosystem service studies

Social media sites have been gaining traction as a source of novel data for environmental research, particularly for cultural ecosystem service (CES) assessments. However, Reddit, a discussion-based site, has yet to establish itself as an important source of data for CES research, possibly due to researchers not being aware of its potential applications or because Reddit posts lack georeferencing information. Here, we demonstrate how researchers can search Reddit for CES datasets related to recreation and how specific pages on Reddit may provide data for other CES such as aesthetics. Using named-entity recognition, we developed an automated method of geocoding the approximate location of where images in Reddit posts were taken. Furthermore, we compare posts from Reddit and Flickr for a range of recreational activities and compare the content and textual metadata of images relating to hiking. Though there is potential for Reddit data to be used in spatial analysis, we highlight the limitations associated with georeferencing posts. We recommend that data from Reddit is best suited to assessing general trends in CES, either for a given service or place. By demonstrating the value of big data from Reddit we hope to encourage its inclusion in future CES and environmental research.

Aesthetic values, Cultural ecosystem services, Flickr, Recreation, Reddit, Social media
2212-0416
Fox, Nathan
e21f7493-4f13-4950-b011-91a16d56bb13
Graham, Laura
bc76bad7-f0fd-4e94-acf9-c7450ec36ae2
Eigenbrod, Felix
43efc6ae-b129-45a2-8a34-e489b5f05827
Bullock, J.M.
1905d5ee-f9cd-4752-b0aa-5ae5662b35e9
Parks, Katherine
ea8fc33d-e41f-4df1-9c16-01c1711de5a6
Fox, Nathan
e21f7493-4f13-4950-b011-91a16d56bb13
Graham, Laura
bc76bad7-f0fd-4e94-acf9-c7450ec36ae2
Eigenbrod, Felix
43efc6ae-b129-45a2-8a34-e489b5f05827
Bullock, J.M.
1905d5ee-f9cd-4752-b0aa-5ae5662b35e9
Parks, Katherine
ea8fc33d-e41f-4df1-9c16-01c1711de5a6

Fox, Nathan, Graham, Laura, Eigenbrod, Felix, Bullock, J.M. and Parks, Katherine (2021) Reddit: A novel data source for cultural ecosystem service studies. Ecosystem Services, 50, [101331]. (doi:10.1016/j.ecoser.2021.101331).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Social media sites have been gaining traction as a source of novel data for environmental research, particularly for cultural ecosystem service (CES) assessments. However, Reddit, a discussion-based site, has yet to establish itself as an important source of data for CES research, possibly due to researchers not being aware of its potential applications or because Reddit posts lack georeferencing information. Here, we demonstrate how researchers can search Reddit for CES datasets related to recreation and how specific pages on Reddit may provide data for other CES such as aesthetics. Using named-entity recognition, we developed an automated method of geocoding the approximate location of where images in Reddit posts were taken. Furthermore, we compare posts from Reddit and Flickr for a range of recreational activities and compare the content and textual metadata of images relating to hiking. Though there is potential for Reddit data to be used in spatial analysis, we highlight the limitations associated with georeferencing posts. We recommend that data from Reddit is best suited to assessing general trends in CES, either for a given service or place. By demonstrating the value of big data from Reddit we hope to encourage its inclusion in future CES and environmental research.

Text
Reddit A novel data source for cultural ecosystem service studies - Accepted Manuscript
Restricted to Repository staff only until 2 August 2022.
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 15 June 2021
e-pub ahead of print date: 2 July 2021
Published date: 1 August 2021
Additional Information: Funding Information: This work was supported by the Natural Environmental Research Council [grant number NE/L002531/1] and by the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology [grant number 06895]. We would also like to thank the handling editor and two reviewers for their constructive feedback which helped to shape this manuscript. Publisher Copyright: © 2021 Elsevier B.V. Copyright: Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
Keywords: Aesthetic values, Cultural ecosystem services, Flickr, Recreation, Reddit, Social media

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 450767
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/450767
ISSN: 2212-0416
PURE UUID: 598587f2-7ebc-4af1-af13-1b4060d87b37
ORCID for Felix Eigenbrod: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8982-824X

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 10 Aug 2021 16:33
Last modified: 05 Nov 2021 02:43

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Contributors

Author: Nathan Fox
Author: Laura Graham
Author: Felix Eigenbrod ORCID iD
Author: J.M. Bullock
Author: Katherine Parks

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