Better City Planning Through Real-Time Data

Urban planning is usually cut and dried when you know where people live, where they work and how they commute. But one area that brother-and-sister computer scientists Enrique and Vanessa Frías-Martínez realised is under-represented in urban planning is nightlife.

What’s more, they think we have one of the richest real-time records of how people are using their city for entertainment and nightlife – Twitter.

“Geo-localised tweets can be a very useful source of information for planning,” Enrique Frías-Martínez says, “[It’s] carried out by a large number of people who provide information on where they are at a specific time and what they are doing.”

The Frías-Martínez siblings, who are computer scientists at Telefonica Research in Madrid, have mined Twitter for geo-location information in Manhattan, Madrid and London.

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