The growing popularity of online platforms based on user-generated content is gradually creating a digital world that mirrors the physical world. In the paradigm of crowdsensing, the crowd becomes a distributed network of social sensors that allows us to understand real life events at a quasi-real-time rate.
The main objective of the research studies on this field is the definition of techniques and tools for the analysis of social media data useful in the understanding of real life events. Using the huge amount of data produced by social sensors it is possible to extract useful knowledge about upcoming events and create and increase the related situational awareness.
The European Laboratory on Big Data and Social Mining performs research in this field, applying both, the participatory and the opportunistic crowdsensing, approaches. These studies have different purposes and applications, such as the emergency management, the detection and the study of fake profiles, the involvement and the popularity of users, or the management of the breaking news.