What TripAdvisor can’t tell : crowdsourcing impression for whole cities

Daniel Gatica-Perez
Idiap Research Institute, EPFL, Lausanne, CH

Darshan Santani
Idiap Research Institute, EPFL, Lausanne, CH

Salvador Ruiz-Correa
IPICYT, San Luis Potosi, MEX

Geo-localized media sites like Foursquare, Yelp, and TripAdvisor, in which people share information about popular public places, can be seen at their core as crowdsourced mechanisms to document the city, and thus represent a valuable resource to study digital cities at scale. However, cities are more than their commercial or touristic spots. We posit that urban crowdsourcing can also be used to document other places and aspects of cities, to include what tourists do not often see or commonly report. I will present two ongoing projects where we integrate research from computer science, social psychology, and urban studies to design crowdsourcing experiments to collect and analyze impressions of urban places from photographs taken with mobile phones. Impressions are collected from the crowd for both outdoor and indoor places for several dimensions related to accessibility, safety, and ambiance. Results on data from several cities in developed and developing countries validate our methodology.

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