Understanding population fluctuations through volunteered geographic information and novel indicators: The experience of Rakiura, Stewart Island, New Zealand

In an era of heterogeneous data; novel methods and volunteered geographic information provide opportunities to understand how people interact with a place. However, it is not enough to simply have such heterogeneous data, instead an understanding of its usability and reliability
needs to be undertaken. Here, we draw upon the case study of Rakiura, Stewart Island where manifested passenger numbers across the Foveaux Strait are known. We have built a population model to ground truth such novel indicators. In our preliminary study, we find that a number of
indicators offer the opportunity to understand fluctuations in populations. Some indicators (such as wastewater volumes) can suggest relative changes in populations in a raw form. While other indicators (such as Tripadvisor reviews or Instagram posts) require further data enrichment to
get insights into population fluctuations. This research forms part of a larger research project looking to test and apply such novel indicators to inform disaster risk assessments.