Visualizing the Data City: Social Media as a Source of Knowledge for Urban Planning and Management
Social media have increasingly become a part of many people’s lives. With the recent technological development of the Internet and mobile devices, people can share their personal spatial experiences of city spaces—for example, places they visit, foods they eat, or what they see—on social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Foursquare, Flick, Panoramio, and so on. Never before, has this unprecedented amount of information on location-based social media revealed dynamics of a city from its urban inhabitants. These social media generate “big data” of the city. In addition to a top-down approach from institutional knowledge, urban planners and designers can learn from local knowledge of “city users” through a bottom-up approach. This large amount of data can represent how people experience a contemporary city and make it possible to investigate urban issues in a way that traditional research methods cannot accomplish. Using these data does not limit by time and cost like in traditional urban studies.