TITLE | Urban*: Crowdsourcing for the good of London
ABSTRACT | For the last two years or so, we have been working on studying social media in the context of London. By combining what Twitter users in a variety of London neighborhoods talk about with census data, we showed that certain topics are correlated (positively and negatively) with neighborhood deprivation. Users in more deprived neighborhoods tweet about wedding parties, matters expressed in Spanish/Portuguese, and celebrity gossips. By contrast, those in less deprived neighborhoods tweet about vacations, professional use of social media, environmental issues, sports, and health issues. More recently, we launched two crowdsourcing websites. First, we launched urbanopticon.org, which extracts Londoners’ mental images of the city. By testing which places are remarkable and unmistakable and which places represent faceless sprawl, we are able to draw the recognizability map of London [1,2]. The site has attracted tens of thousands of players, and I will show you the results published in WWW last year. The second site is called urbangems.org. This crowdsources visual perceptions of quiet, beauty and happiness across the city using Google Street View pictures. The aim is to identify the visual cues that are generally associated with concepts difficult to define such beauty, happiness, quietness, or even deprivation [3,4]. The site has been awarded the A.T. Kearney Prize and has been featured in falling-walls.com 2012 in Berlin.
BIOGRAPHY | Daniele Quercia is a social media researcher at Yahoo Labs in Barcelona. Before that, he was a Horizon senior researcher at The Computer Laboratory of the University of Cambridge. He is interested in the relationship between online and offline worlds and his work has been focusing in the areas of data mining, computational social science, and urban informatics. His research has been published in leading venues including ICSE, Ubicomp, ICDM, CSCW, RecSys, WSDM, and WWW, received honorable mentions from AAAI ICWSM, and has been featured on La Repubblica, The Independent, New Scientist, Le Monde, and BBC. He spoke at TEDx Barcelona and Falling Walls Berlin, and wrote for BBC. He was Postdoctoral Associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he worked on social networks in a city context, and his PhD thesis at UC London was nominated for BCS Best British PhD dissertation in Computer Science. During his PhD, he was a Microsoft Research PhD Scholar and MBA Technology Fellow of London Business School, and he also interned at the National Research Council in Barcelona and at National Institute of Informatics in Tokyo. He studied at Politecnico di Torino (Italy), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany), and University of Illinois (USA).