Spatial Information Design Lab, Columbia University, Upper Manhattan, NY, USA
Addicted to checking your favourite site for constant updates, or checking in with Facebook or Foursquare? Don’t worry – you’re not alone, and Columbia’s Spatial Information Design Lab can prove it. In addition to sharing your whereabouts with friends, your geographic mark provides valuable insight in examining the psycho-geography and economic terrain of the city.
For their social media study, the Lab used the Foursquare and Facebook Application Programming Interfaces (API’s) access location-based data to determine where social media users broadcast that they are “Here Now”, and have transformed that data into a graphic language that provides a sense of how the city is organised with regards to how people travel around the city, where there are employment and commercial centres, and seasonal preferences.
“Foursquare users tell us how they feel but they also provide valuable land use and economic information for cities where this information can be hard to obtain. These maps of Mexico City, Moscow, Mumbai, Rio de Janeiro, Beijing, and Tokyo allow us to compare how Foursquare users operate in these cities, but more importantly expose urban economic patterns that might not otherwise been seen,” explained the Lab.
Check out how the data creates centralised system in Moscow, a sprawling system in New York and a more linear system along the coast in Rio or the main transportation infrastructure in Mumbai. Be sure to view the Lab’s website where you can view a live data feed of people’s activity across the city.
Spatial Information Design Lab: weareherenow.org
Project Lead: Sarah Williams, Co-Director Spatial Information Design Lab
Research Associates: Juan Francisco Saldarriaga (Project Manager), Georgia Bullen, Francis Tan, Noa Younse, Bryan Valentini
Student Researchers: Fatima Abdul-Nabi, Adare Blumenfeld, Caitlin Hackett, Jen So Godzeno, Alex McQuilkin, Tiffany Rattray, Carlos Salazar Echavarría, Fred Sham, Nathan Tinclair.