The Stack Now Chinese web services giant, Baidu, has embarked on a new study in which it uses location information from users’ mobile devices, as well as mapping and building data, to identify areas with high volumes of construction with relatively low population densities. by Alice MacGregor
'The researchers, in the published findings Ghost Cities: Analysis Based on Positioning Data in China, were also able to discount areas which experienced high levels of tourism which skew the figures in peak seasons.
'The web company has a massive 700 million people registered to its online services – a significant proportion of China’s 1.36 billion population. Although the data is not widely representative of Chinese society it is a good representation of urban density. The company argued: “With the ubiquity of smart mobile phones, Baidu users occupy the most proportion of the whole population.”
'The Baidu Big Data team discovered 50 ghost cities...although only 20 of these were revealed in the report to avoid potential harm to the real estate market in these areas.'