Smelly maps: the digital life of urban smellscapes

Conference paper


Quercia, D., Schifanella, R., Aiello, L. and McLean, K. 2015. Smelly maps: the digital life of urban smellscapes.
AuthorsQuercia, D., Schifanella, R., Aiello, L. and McLean, K.
TypeConference paper
Description

Smell has a huge influence over how we perceive places. Despite its importance, smell has been crucially overlooked by urban planners and scientists alike, not least because it is difficult to record and analyze at scale. One of the authors of this paper has ventured out in the urban world and conducted ``smellwalks'' in a variety of cities: participants were exposed to a range of different smellscapes and asked to record their experiences. As a result, smell-related words have been collected and classified, creating the first dictionary for urban smell. Here we explore the possibility of using social media data to reliably map the smells of entire cities. To this end, for both Barcelona and London, we collect geo-referenced picture tags from Flickr and Instagram, and geo-referenced tweets from Twitter. We match those tags and tweets with the words in the smell dictionary. We find that smell-related words are best classified in ten categories. We also find that specific categories (e.g., industry, transport, cleaning) correlate with governmental air quality indicators, adding validity to our study.

Year2015
ConferenceICWSM 15: Ninth International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media
Official URLhttp://www.aaai.org/ocs/index.php/ICWSM/ICWSM15/paper/view/10572
Publisher's version
Publication process dates
Deposited05 Jun 2015
AcceptedJan 2015
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
PrintMay 2015
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/8757y/smelly-maps-the-digital-life-of-urban-smellscapes

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