Urban Pulse Uses Social Media Data to Show Cities in a New Light

The open-source platform could prove useful for architects and planners seeking a better understanding of places and the people who use them

The brainchild of a team led by [Ph.D. candidate] Fabio Miranda at NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering, Urban Pulse translates photos from Flickr and location-based tweets to a series of “beats” and "pulses,” which are represented by hotspots of varying intensities and lengths on a heat map. For example, a concentration of Flickr photos uploaded near the Metropolitan Museum of Art or tweets from Grand Central would create a pulse that indicates a location has become a relative hub of activity among certain groups of people (tourists vs. commuters, for example). 

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