Utilising Social Media to Identify the Cultural Loci of the City.

Previous methods of research into the organisation of cities and patterns of user behaviour within them have typically required lengthy surveys and interviews with a variety of users for instance Kevin Lynch’s Image of the City (Lynch, 1964) derived mental maps of the city by interviewing city residents, requiring them to draw maps, review photographs and walk the routes (Jiang, 2012). This was resource intensive and took a considerable time to produce what were only qualitative results.

New methods of research have been opened through advances in computing power and increasing availability of detailed databases of geospatial data which have enabled researchers to algorithmically derive quantitative results, for example, Jiang’s (2012) quantitative image of the city.

Other researchers within the fields of space syntax, spatial cognition, spatial configuration and the broader fields of architecture, urban planning, and urban design have achieved similar feats using algorithms to quantitatively evaluate data sets to derive insights into human behaviour.

Within this paper it be will argued that without any prior knowledge the cultural loci of the city can be identified by analysing geolocated social media messages.

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