Spotting Locals Hotspots For Tourists

On July 1 to 8, the Web Science Summer School 2017 was held in St. Petersburg. It was organized by Laboratory of Internet Studies at Higher School of Economics and ITMO University’s International Laboratory “Computer Technologies”. The School’s mentors presented the projects in data set analysis. ITMO.NEWS has examined some of the social network data analysis projects developed by specialists from ITMO’s eScience Research Institute.

Ms. Mukhina and her colleagues from the eScience Research Institute have developed a project that would provide tourists with a list of spots popular among the locals. Data analysis was made using Instagram posts. This social network’s defining characteristic, says Ksenia, is that people post more positive content there.

“We can look at posts made by a city’s local populace and identify the places that are evaluated positively. We can then provide tourists with a list of places that are popular among the locals. We used data for 2016 gathered from the profiles of 59.024 users. It contains 529.251 photos geo-tagged at 17.921 spots around St. Petersburg. 23.596 users were identified as locals. In the end, we identified 44 places that are the most popular among the citizens. They can be split into five categories: places of culture (theatres, museums), restaurants (bars, cafes), landmarks (bridges, streets, etc.) parks and “others” (creative spaces, studios, etc),” – explains Ms. Mukhina.

The system also has to be able to discern between a local and a tourist. The researchers have assumed that people post their photos when they’re in the city. They also assumed that people tend to have two 15-day vacation periods each year with at least 30 days in between.

How Researchers Use Social Media to Find Cool Spots [IFMO]