Get inspired – Case studies on how urban planners use social media and open data

In 2014, the consortium of various partners launched a project urbandata2decide, coordinated by Austrian-based SME SYNYO GmbH. Its aim is to extract information, create visualizations, support decision-making and approach urban challenges.

The reason why the project might be interesting for a researcher is the fact that the primary goal of the project is to “extract and process information from two rich sources, namely public social media and open data libraries, and creates impactful visualizations.”

Urbandata2decide published several research papers and proposals. The majority of them are available here. One of them might be very interesting for a researcher: “D2.1 SOCIAL AND OPEN DATA VISUALISATION METHODS AND DATA SOURCES REPORT”.

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The authors argue that social media data can be used in two basic ways: “Probably the biggest relevant research area which social media has stimulated has been in the domain of crisis detection and management.” They give an overview of a relevant studies, using data for real-time events detection. They argue that the main advantage is that this method is quicker than traditional methods.

Apart from that, they advocate the “use of social media data as a substitute for traditional data capture techniques, such as censuses and surveys, which are costly and time consuming to implement.” Again, they give an overview of past research about cities.

open data


Finally, the paper links to interesting resources with open data from more than 80 countries. “There are already several reports and publications analysing the adoption of open data across the globe: The Open Data Barometer 2013 (Davies 2013) and 2015 (The World Wide Web Foundation, 2015) focus on the analysis of open government data (OGD) across the world in terms of context, availability, and emerging impacts.

For links and more information, the research paper is available here.

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