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Edited by Mark Birkin, Graham Clarke, Jonathan Corcoran and Robert Stimson

This unique book demonstrates the utility of big data approaches in human geography and planning. Offering a carefully curated selection of case studies, it reveals how researchers are accessing big data, what this data looks like and how such data can offer new and important insights and knowledge.
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Field Guide for Research in Community Settings

Tools, Methods, Challenges and Strategies

Edited by M. R. Islam, Niaz A. Khan, Siti H.A.B. Ah, Haris A. Wahab and Mashitah B. Hamidi

This insightful book offers practical advice to fieldworkers in social research, enabling robust and judicious applications of research methods and techniques in data collection. It also outlines data collection challenges that are commonly faced when working in the field.
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M. Rezaul Islam, Niaz Ahmed Khan, Siti Hajar Abu Bakar Ah, Haris Abd Wahab and Mashitah Binti Hamidi

Fieldwork/data collection is one of the most important parts in the research process, and it is particularly important for social sciences research. A number of aspects that need to be considered by a researcher before starting data collection include: ethical permission from the concerned ethical body/committee, informed consent, contract with different stakeholders, field settings, time allocation and time management, field leading, data collection, contextual and cultural diversities, community settings, socioeconomic and psychological patterns of the community, political pattern, rapport building between data collectors and respondents, permission to access community, language and mode of data collection, power relations, role of gatekeepers, privacy and confidentiality issues, layers of expectations among researchers/respondents/ funding organization, data recording (written, memorization, voice recording and video recording), and so on. Many aspects are very difficult to understand before going into the field. Sometimes, a researcher’s previous experience about a particular community may help to gain field access, but it may be difficult to assess the field in advance due to rapid changes within people’s livelihoods and other shifts in the community. The change of a political paradigm sometimes seems also to be a challenge at the field level. We believe that although technological innovation has benefited some aspects of the data collection of fieldwork in social research, many other dimensions (mentioned above) of fieldwork endure unchanged.

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Monica Alexander

Understanding migration patterns and how they change over time has important implications for understanding broader population trends, effectively designing policy and allocating resources. However, data on migration movements are often lacking, and those that do exist are not produced in a timely manner. Social media data offer new opportunities to provide more up-to-date demographic estimates and to complement more-traditional data sources. Facebook, for example, can be thought of as a large digital census that is regularly updated. However, its users are not representative of the underlying population, thus using the data without appropriate adjustments would lead to biased results. This chapter discusses the use of social media advertising data to estimate migration over time. A statistical framework for combining traditional data sources and the social media data is presented, which emphasizes the importance of three main components: adjusting for non-representativeness in the social media data; incorporating historical information from reliable demographic data; and accounting for different errors in each data source. The framework is illustrated through an example that uses data from Facebook’s advertising platform to estimate migrant stocks in North America.

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Bingjie Liu-Lastres and Han Wen

The purpose of this research note was to examine managers’ perspectives on employee wellbeing in the foodservice industry. Particularly, this study conducted 14 semi-structured individual interviews with upper-level managers of various organizations within the foodservice industry. Thematic analyses were employed to analyze the data. The overall findings addressed the essence of considering employee wellbeing in the industry. Particularly, this study revealed managers’ interpretation of employee wellbeing, identified major influences on employee wellbeing, reported the current measures, and presented the major challenges facing most organizations regarding improving employee wellbeing. From a theoretical point of view, this study used a qualitative approach and reflected managers’ perspectives on the concept of employee wellbeing. Building on those findings, this study provides practical implications, which mainly involves using a forward-thinking, top-down approach to enhance employee wellbeing, and highlights the roles of organizational support and organizational culture. Based on the findings, this study also discusses future research directions and limitations.

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Warwick Frost

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Kaarina Tervo-Kankare

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Saurabh Kumar Dixit

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Zafer Öter

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Sabrina Seeler and Michael Lueck

The global COVID-19 health pandemic has shaken the most stable political systems, and left deep economic scars across industries. With global and national travel at a standstill, the tourism industry is among the most heavily hit. The gradual lifting of restrictions has already fuelled tourism demand, and previous hopes of rebuilding and transforming tourism more sustainably are vanishing. To ensure that pre-COVID-19 situations of unsustainable development do not resurface, it is of critical importance to go beyond economically driven crisis recovery. Instead, governments need to reconsider pre-crisis challenges, such as imbalances between tourists and residents, infrastructure shortages, and questions around the efficiency of regulations and policies. In New Zealand, issues related to freedom camping have fuelled these debates, with headlines relating to tourists defecating in public space, dropping garbage, and being ‘freeloaders’ with little economic value. Adopting a multiple stakeholder approach, this research note empirically explores stakeholder perceptions of challenges associated with freedom camping in the context of New Zealand. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 20 stakeholders representing host communities, local councils, national agencies, tourism businesses, and regional tourism organisations. Qualitative data analysis reveals positive changes and reduced impacts as results of additional infrastructure funding, educational measures, and locally enforced bylaws. However, participants also noted the need for a national framework, and clear statements and messages regarding domestic demand. Considering that nature-based experiences that allow for social distancing, such as (freedom) camping, have grown significantly during the pandemic and that domestic tourists will be crucial to post-COVID tourism recovery, this original multiple stakeholder approach delivers policy-relevant insights and provides avenues for future research with regard to a responsible and sustainable tourism restart.