Linking geosocial sensing with the socio-demographic fabric of smart cities

F.O. Ostermann*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
50 Downloads (Pure)


Technological advances have enabled new sources of geoinformation, such as geosocial media, and have supported the propagation of the concept of smart cities. This paper argues that a city cannot be smart without citizens in the loop, and that a geosocial sensor might be one component to achieve that. First, we need to better understand which facets of urban life could be detected by a geosocial sensor, and how to calibrate it. This requires replicable studies that foster longitudinal and comparative research. Consequently, this paper examines the relationship between geosocial media content and socio-demographic census data for a global city, London, at two administrative levels. It aims for a transparent study design to encourage replication, using Term Frequency—Inverse Document Frequency of keywords, rule-based and word-embedding sentiment analysis, and local cluster analysis. The findings of limited links between geosocial media content and socio-demographic characteristics support earlier critiques on the utility of geosocial media for smart city planning purposes. The paper concludes that passive listening to publicly available geosocial media, in contrast to pro-active engagement with citizens, seems of limited use to understand and improve urban quality of life.
Original languageEnglish
Article number52
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalISPRS international journal of geo-information
Issue number2
Early online date27 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021



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