, Volume 78, Issue 1, pp 181–203 | Cite as

The emergent urban imaginaries of geosocial media

  • Matthew James KelleyEmail author


A class of geosocial software applications has begun to emerge that integrates location and social networking. These applications enable public participation in the production of datasets that reveal patterns of individual perception, interaction, and experience in space. Geosocial data consist of point locations that have been created and tagged by participants with short statements about their perceptions and/or experiences. Increasingly, these data are streamed via map interface by ‘meta-geosocial’ aggregation services and are freely available to the public. In this article I suggest that as geosocial applications become more popular, the composite sketches of place that result from them will constitute increasingly accurate representations of the local collective socio-spatial imaginary. Using data collected from one of the more popular geosocial media services, I explore the proposition that collective digital imaginaries have the potential to emerge from geosocial data. And drawing on the literature of the imaginary, I argue that geosocial-based imaginaries do not simply reflect socio-spatial practice, but also inform and influence the ways that we perceive, experience and interact in space.


Geosocial media Geoweb Imaginary Urban geography Qualitative Habitus 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Washington TacomaTacomaUSA

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