Crossing Social and Spatial Borders as an Everyday Life: Big Data to Reveal Transnational People, Their Mobilities and Spaces



In the age of globalization, increasing flows of cross-border mobilities represent a key manifestation of transnationalism – one of the central concepts and theories for understanding socio-spatial processes and phenomena transcending nation state borders. Socio-spatial interactions such as transnational human mobilities and social engagement are the centerpiece of forming and transforming existing political, economic, cultural, religious and social spaces, and boundaries and identities.

As our global network society is about constant mobilities of everything that transcends nation-state borders, cross-border interactions and integration is a key issue towards balanced and sustainable socio-spatial cohesion, especially within the EU. However, not much is known about the rapidly increasing cross-border daily mobilities which is one of the underlying forces transforming new functional transnational spaces.

An intriguing novel big data approach could potentially provide invaluable insights for transnational research and practice. Thus, this project aims to seek in practice how big data sources such as mobile phone positioning data and social media posts could be applied to contribute to research on transnational socio-spatial interactions and provide evidence-based knowledge to better cope with changes it produces in the society.

We currently examine publicly available geo-located Twitter data in two case study regions: 1) Finland - Estonia; and 2) The Greater Region of Luxembourg,



There is currently one published MSc thesis related to the project, with the following topic:



Following people are involved:

Olle Järv (Project leader, post-doctoral researcher)

Kerli Müürisepp (PhD candidate)

Tuomas Väisänen (PhD candidate)

Samuli Massinen (MSc student)



The project is funded by the Kone Foundation and University of Helsinki for the period 2017-2022.