Urban Emotions


Threats to democracy on the net




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.

Weblink zur Karte hier zum Anklicken.


Key Publications
Kyriakou, K., Resch, B.,Sagl G., Petutschnig, A., Werner, C., Niederseer, D., Liedlgruber, M., Willhelm, F., Osborne, T., Pykett, J. (2019) Detecting Moments of Stress from Measurements of Wearable Physiological Sensors. Sensors, 19(17), pp. 3805, DOI: 10.3390/s19173805.
Sagl, G., Resch, B., Petutschnig, A., Kyriakou, K., Liedlgruber, M. and Wilhelm, F.H. (2019) Wearables and the Quantified Self: Systematic Benchmarking of Physiological Sensors. Sensors, 19(20), pp. 4448, DOI: 10.3390/s19204448.
Kyriakou, K. and Resch, B. (2019) Spatial Analysis of Moments of Stress Derived from Wearable Sensor Data. Adavances in Cartography and GIScience of the ICA, 2, 9, DOI: 10.5194/ica-adv-2-9-2019.
Kounadi, O., Resch, B. and Petutschnig, A. (2018) Privacy Threats and Protection Recommendations for the Usage of Geosocial Network Data in Research. Social Sciences, 7(10), pp. 191, DOI: 10.3390/socsci7100191.
Kounadi, O. and Resch, B. (2018) A Geoprivacy by Design Guideline for Research Campaigns that use Participatory Sensing Data. (2018) Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, 13(3), pp. 203-222, DOI: 10.1177/1556264618759877.
Bluemke, M., Resch, B., Lechner, C., Westerholt, R. and Kolb, J.-P. (2017) Integrating Geographic Information into Survey Research: Current Applications, Challenges and Future Avenues. Research Methods, 11(3), pp. 307-327.
Zeile, P., Resch, B., Loidl, M. and Petutschnig, A. (2016) Urban Emotions Cycling Experience – Enriching Traffic Planning for Cyclists with Human Sensor Data. GI_Forum – Journal for Geographic Information Science, 1-2016, pp. 204-216, DOI:10.1553/giscience2016_01_s204.
Resch, B., Sudmanns, M., Sagl, G., Summa, A., Zeile, P. and Exner, J.-P. (2015) Crowdsourcing Physiological Conditions and Subjective Emotions by Coupling Technical and Human Mobile Sensors. GI_Forum – Journal for Geographic Information Science, 1-2015, pp. 514-524.
Bernd Resch (project lead) Kalliopi Kyriakou, Günther Sagl, Ourania Kounadi, Mark Padgham, Andreas Petutschnig, Stefan Zimmer, Martin Sudmanns, Anja Summa, Veronika Priesner, Clemens Havas

Project Partners