Today in Cloud

Two websites caught my eye today that aim to show how people are feeling about different cities through social media data collected on the people living there. Livehoods says the character of an urban area is defined not just by the the types of places found there, but also by the people that make it part of their daily life. To explore this idea, they use data from approximately 18 million check-ins collected from the location-based social network foursquare, and apply clustering algorithms to discover the different areas of the city. In my neighborhood in San Francisco it shows a lot of people are checking into restaurants and bars. Sounds about right! The neighborhood next to me is Noe Valley where it looks like lots of people are checking into the gym and daycare centers. Lots of families there, so that makes sense. Another site, this one in London, called UrbanMovements looks at the percentage of tweets containing swear words in each borough of the city. The data seems to suggest that the good residents of eastern and southern boroughs of outer London are more inclined to throw a swear word or two into a tweet than their counterparts over to the western side of London. I won’t say which side I used to live on, but the data seems pretty spot on to me.