Social Media Enabled Human Sensing for Smart Cities

Document Type


Publication Date


Find this in a Library

Catalog Record


Smart city initiatives rely on real-time measurements and data collected by a large number of heterogenous physical sensors deployed throughout a city. Physical sensors, however, are fraught with interoperability, dependability, management and political challenges. Furthermore, these sensors are unable to sense the opinions and emotional reactions of citizens that invariably impact smart city initiatives. Yet everyday, millions of dwellers and visitors of a city share their observations, thoughts, feelings andexperiences, or in other words, their perceptions about theircity through social media updates. This paper reasons why “human sensors”, namely, citizens that share information about their surroundings via social media can supplement, complement, or even replace the information measured by physical sensors. We present a methodology based on probabilistic language modeling to extract and visualize such perceptions that may be relevant to smart cities from social media updates. Using more than six million geo-tagged tweets collected over regions that feature widely varying geographical, social, cultural and political characteristics and tweet densities, we illustrate the potential of social media enabled human sensing to address diverse smart city challenges.



Catalog Record