Mapping Stays by Triangulating Foursquare Checkins

Here is an example at a larger scale - Explore checkins in Barcelona from the past week, as they were harnessed using a tweet language query triangulation method.  

Our research during the next month plans to replicate this process across several cities with signals of affiliation from social media.  Our theoretical research pinpointed signals of affinity (likes), appreciation (photos), lingering (check-in), and buzz (twitter volume). By attempting to map several of these on the city grid we are thus mapping the relationships we have with our city as they are reflected in the online public sphere.

Stay tuned this next month for more blog posts documenting our results :-) 

Our work, as always, has been largely inspired by Jan Gehl’s methods from half century of measuring public life.  It took him decades to get these recognized, and I doubt the art or science of digital countings and how to measure urban qualities will progress very quickly.   In the meantime we will continue to let the data speak for itself, humbly letting crowdsourced patterns help us naively understand the less ephemeral (but also less contextual) emissions of public life that exist online.

Our work, as always, has been largely inspired by Jan Gehl’s methods from half century of measuring public life.  It took him decades to get these recognized, and I doubt the art or science of digital countings and how to measure urban qualities will progress very quickly.   In the meantime we will continue to let the data speak for itself, humbly letting crowdsourced patterns help us naively understand the less ephemeral (but also less contextual) emissions of public life that exist online.

A combination of online tools, raw data and mapping software is then used to collect, organize and make sense of our emissions within the city. The first image shows Placa Reial as people document their interactions with Instagram photos this week.  Most of them are in the center of the square, but some are at the cafes on the perimeter.  

After then gathering raw data for tweets in the square, we can then custom map the 21 geolocated tweets from the past week, out of 120 total tweets.  Several of them overlap, possibly because they were attached to a “place” with pre-designated coordinates in an app, rather than the tweet’s own coordinates (or Mobile phone rather).  Many of these were “I’m here” checkins cross-shared from foursquare.

How do people use the square?  On the day it was examined, this tranquil space between hospital and library buildings provided a large variance of usage from students studying, tourists photographing, locals lingering, smokers smoking questionable substances, picnicers eating market snacks, chess players, etc.  These observations of what people do in the square can then be better understood in the individual online postings when analyzing across time and space online.

How do people use the square?  On the day it was examined, this tranquil space between hospital and library buildings provided a large variance of usage from students studying, tourists photographing, locals lingering, smokers smoking questionable substances, picnicers eating market snacks, chess players, etc.  These observations of what people do in the square can then be better understood in the individual online postings when analyzing across time and space online.

How many cafes does the square have?  Counting sub-locations is an important consideration to the effects of the umbrella location of, say, a shopping mall for individual stores.  In a way there is a symbiotic relation between the two both in real life and online when people check-in to one or the other (or both).  This small but thoughtfully re-designed square benefits in checkins from several cafes and restaurants within its small perimeter, each contributing to extra check-ins of experiencing the square en-terasse.
Google maps can help with a remote assessment of businesses that occupy larger places.  In addition Google street view can give the urban informatics researcher a periscope of street-life when it offers a 360 degree panoramic of the square in question, in this case Placa del Sol which has a high density of lively interaction between the place and sub-locations.

How many cafes does the square have?  Counting sub-locations is an important consideration to the effects of the umbrella location of, say, a shopping mall for individual stores.  In a way there is a symbiotic relation between the two both in real life and online when people check-in to one or the other (or both).  This small but thoughtfully re-designed square benefits in checkins from several cafes and restaurants within its small perimeter, each contributing to extra check-ins of experiencing the square en-terasse.

Google maps can help with a remote assessment of businesses that occupy larger places.  In addition Google street view can give the urban informatics researcher a periscope of street-life when it offers a 360 degree panoramic of the square in question, in this case Placa del Sol which has a high density of lively interaction between the place and sub-locations.

The Coffee Cup Metric - Musings from one of many cafes on Placa Reial, having only seen one to-go coffee cup in four days of extensive (and caffinated) field work.

Broad question: How does the built space’s reflect the activities of the people who use it? 
We seek to answer this question in the online sense, rather than literal one shown here in the ceiling of the Encants Barcelona flea market.

Broad question: How does the built space’s reflect the activities of the people who use it?

We seek to answer this question in the online sense, rather than literal one shown here in the ceiling of the Encants Barcelona flea market.

How many people mark up places in this parc by taking photos or talking about it, where precisely do they do so, and to what purpose?  These are the questions we seek to investigate.  A preliminary audit shows the following results for the first two questions, with 3589 people who “were here” digitally on Facebook, 2675 actual check-ins on location (foursquare), 588 of these were unique people, 186 of the Facebook population “like” this, and 105 photos were added to checkins on Foursquare.

A second examination points qualitatively groups these 100+ photos of the park when checking-in. The diagram shows the following answers to what exactly people are doing when affiliating themselves with the Parc del Clot.  The three largest categories represent appreciation of architectural facets of the park. Other categories emerged with photos of play/playgrounds, food/drink and special events.

Chris in Barcelona:

Found this little artifact on Parc El Clot notes from @gehlarchitects book, How to Study Public Life

Chris in Barcelona:

Found this little artifact on Parc El Clot notes from @gehlarchitects book, How to Study Public Life

Reblogged from folksonomist
Chris:

A stellar example of urban design of public spaces for public life. Old factory walls frame the park and square, juxtaposing new and old. Bridges zig zag the interior to transcend the park from above, as waterfalls add an auditory feature. #pspl #gehl #urbics (at Parc del Clot)

Chris:

A stellar example of urban design of public spaces for public life. Old factory walls frame the park and square, juxtaposing new and old. Bridges zig zag the interior to transcend the park from above, as waterfalls add an auditory feature. #pspl #gehl #urbics (at Parc del Clot)

Reblogged from folksonomist