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Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 231–247 | Cite as

Cyber Cities: Social Media as a Tool for Understanding Cities

  • Daniel Arribas-Bel
  • Karima Kourtit
  • Peter Nijkamp
  • John Steenbruggen
Article

Abstract

‘Big’ urban data are increasingly becoming accessible for scientific research and policy use. They may enhance the intelligence that is needed for understanding and mapping out social connectivity phenomena (in the sense of Jane Jacobs) in modern smart cities. The present paper aims to highlight and demonstrate the rich potential of information based on digital technology in modern cities. As a case study example of the power of social media data as a support tool in smart cities, we consider Twitter data in the municipality of Amsterdam. We use machine learning techniques to identify temporal patterns that we then relate back to their spatial dimension, effectively connecting the digital with physical aspect of cities. We also show that analysis of geo-referenced tweets can shed significant light on physical aspects of the city and on the spatial distribution of urban functions.

Keywords

Social buzz Digital technology Twitter ICT New Urban World’ Smart city Internet geography 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors wish to thank Euro Beinat and his team at the University of Salzburg for his great help in the data collection for this paper. Comments and suggestions from anonymous referees substantially improved the paper and we are very grateful to them.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Arribas-Bel
    • 1
  • Karima Kourtit
    • 2
    • 3
  • Peter Nijkamp
    • 3
    • 4
  • John Steenbruggen
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Geography, Earth and Environmental SciencesUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK
  2. 2.Department of Urban Planning and Environment, School of Architecture and Built EnvironmentKTH Royal Institute of TechnologyStockholmSweden
  3. 3.A. Mickiewicz UniversityPoznanPoland
  4. 4.Department of Spatial EconomicsVU University AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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