A global analysis of cities’ geosocial temporal signatures for points of interest hours of operation

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Abstract

The temporal nature of humans interaction with Points of Interest (POIs) in cities can differ depending on place type and regional location. Times when many people are likely to visit restaurants (place type) in Italy, may differ from times when many people are likely to visit restaurants in Lebanon (i.e. regional differences). Geosocial data are a powerful resource to model these temporal differences in cities, as traditional methods used to study cross-cultural differences do not scale to a global level. As cities continue to grow in population and economic development, research identifying the social and geophysical (e.g., climate) factors that influence city function remains important and incomplete. In this work, we take a quantitative approach, applying dynamic time warping and hierarchical clustering on temporal signatures to model geosocial temporal patterns for Retail and Restaurant Facebook POIs hours of operation for more than 100 cities in 90 countries around the world. Results show cities’ temporal patterns cluster to reflect the cultural region they represent. Furthermore, temporal patterns are influenced by a mix of social and geophysical factors. Trends in the data suggest social factors influence unique drops in temporal signatures, and geophysical factors influence when daily temporal patterns start and finish.

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Sparks, K., Thakur, G., Pasarkar, A., & Urban, M. (2020). A global analysis of cities’ geosocial temporal signatures for points of interest hours of operation. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 34(4), 759–776. https://doi.org/10.1080/13658816.2019.1615069

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