Measuring urban deprivation from user generated content

Alessandro Venerandi, Giovanni Quattrone, Licia Capra, Daniele Quercia, Diego Saez-Trumper

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book

51 Citations (Scopus)


Measuring socioeconomic deprivation of cities in an accurate and timely fashion has become a priority for governments around the world, as the massive urbanization process we are witnessing is causing high levels of inequalities which require intervention. Traditionally, deprivation indexes have been derived from census data, which is however very expensive to obtain, and thus acquired only every few years. Alternative computational methods have been proposed in recent years to automatically extract proxies of deprivation at a fine spatiotemporal level of granularity; however, they usually require access to datasets (e.g., call details records) that are not publicly available to governments and agencies. To remedy this, we propose a new method to automatically mine deprivation at a fine level of spatio-Temporal granularity that only requires access to freely available user-generated content. More precisely, the method needs access to datasets describing what urban elements are present in the physical environment; examples of such datasets are Foursquare and OpenStreetMap. Using these datasets, we quantitatively describe neighborhoods by means of a metric, called Offering Advantage, that reflects which urban elements are distinctive features of each neighborhood. We then use that metric to (i) build accurate classifiers of urban deprivation and (ii) interpret the outcomes through thematic analysis. We apply the method to three UK urban areas of different scale and elaborate on the results in terms of precision and recall.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCSCW 2015 - Proceedings of the 2015 ACM International Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing
Place of PublicationNew York
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781450329224
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2015
Event18th ACM International Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, CSCW 2015 - BC, Canada
Duration: 14 Mar 201518 Mar 2015


Conference18th ACM International Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, CSCW 2015


  • empirical methods
  • foursquare
  • OpenStreetMap
  • quantitative analysis
  • socio-cconomics
  • user generated content


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