In addition to the undisputed benefits of digital media for social cohesion, which are also desirable in terms of democratic policy, anti-democratic and anti-constitutional dynamics such as fake news, hate speech, conspiracy narratives, calls for violence and breaches of the constitution are increasingly causing concern. In order to counteract these tendencies and better engage citizens who see themselves as disconnected, marginalised and susceptible to conspiracy narratives in a democratic discourse, it is first necessary to find out how these dynamics currently operate in geo-social media or platforms.
The goal of the Urban Emotions project is to analyse the trends of real-time human sensory and crowdsourcing approaches in social networks for the extraction of contextual emotion information for decision support in spatial planning and to develop it further to an innovative methodology for the domain of urban and regional planning. This methodology includes the correlation between emotions extracted from psycho-physiological smartband sensor measurements (People as Sensors) and different VGI datasets (Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, etc.). Herein, the topics of data privacy and handing personalised data are inherently considered.
The results of the Urban Emotions project will give new and additional insights into the complex human-sensor-city relationship. These insights will be enabled by means of novel visualization techniques of the data analysed and their preparation for urban planning processes to validate existing planning measures. This is demonstrated through a showcase in the cities of Heidelberg, Kaiserslautern and Boston (USA). Planning practitioners receive an appropriate overview of methods which can be used as an additional recommendation for further action.
The application below shows a visualization of human sensory and social media communication in Boston.