Mining the Web
how user-generated content (UGC) can become a data
source for tourism research
Peter A. Johnson and Dr. Renee Sieber, McGill University
TTRA Canada Annual Conference, Guelph Ontario
Thursday October 15, 2009
• What is user generated content (UGC)?
• Examples of tourism-related UGC
• Tripadvisor study
• Challenges to UGC
• User-generated content is:
• content made publicly available over
• reﬂects creative effort
• created outside of professional
routines and practices (OECD, 2007)
• A popular travel rating site
• Determine the range and nature of reviews
of Nova Scotia
• Start search queries using “nova scotia” and
“halifax nova scotia”
• Web scrape as many reviews as possible
• Specialized computer software (robot or
• Automated extraction of website data
• Simulates “clicks” to drill down through a
• Outputs thousands of records in hours
Take home points
• UGC is an emerging source of data for
• getting and using UGC
• how to use results at larger scales
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