Location data is collected from multiple sources of varying quality GPS signals from mobile devices, beacons, and WIFI connections, the notorious Bidstream, and more. In most cases, even genuine location data cannot represent the entire population of the region. This discrepancy can be attributed to smartphone penetration in the country, app-specific demographic variations, hardware inconsistencies, and sources of location data.
To perform meaningful analysis that accounts for mobility patterns and other trends in a larger region, data scientists use projection models to make an accurate estimation of a region’s population and normalise data counts to fit the use case. This is called data extrapolation.