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      Chatty maps: constructing sound maps of urban areas from social media data

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          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.

          Abstract

          Urban sound has a huge influence over how we perceive places. Yet, city planning is concerned mainly with noise, simply because annoying sounds come to the attention of city officials in the form of complaints, whereas general urban sounds do not come to the attention as they cannot be easily captured at city scale. To capture both unpleasant and pleasant sounds, we applied a new methodology that relies on tagging information of georeferenced pictures to the cities of London and Barcelona. To begin with, we compiled the first urban sound dictionary and compared it with the one produced by collating insights from the literature: ours was experimentally more valid (if correlated with official noise pollution levels) and offered a wider geographical coverage. From picture tags, we then studied the relationship between soundscapes and emotions. We learned that streets with music sounds were associated with strong emotions of joy or sadness, whereas those with human sounds were associated with joy or surprise. Finally, we studied the relationship between soundscapes and people's perceptions and, in so doing, we were able to map which areas are chaotic, monotonous, calm and exciting. Those insights promise to inform the creation of restorative experiences in our increasingly urbanized world.

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          Most cited references 32

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          Modularity and community structure in networks

           M. Newman (2006)
          Many networks of interest in the sciences, including a variety of social and biological networks, are found to divide naturally into communities or modules. The problem of detecting and characterizing this community structure has attracted considerable recent attention. One of the most sensitive detection methods is optimization of the quality function known as "modularity" over the possible divisions of a network, but direct application of this method using, for instance, simulated annealing is computationally costly. Here we show that the modularity can be reformulated in terms of the eigenvectors of a new characteristic matrix for the network, which we call the modularity matrix, and that this reformulation leads to a spectral algorithm for community detection that returns results of better quality than competing methods in noticeably shorter running times. We demonstrate the algorithm with applications to several network data sets.
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            Maps of random walks on complex networks reveal community structure

            To comprehend the multipartite organization of large-scale biological and social systems, we introduce a new information theoretic approach that reveals community structure in weighted and directed networks. The method decomposes a network into modules by optimally compressing a description of information flows on the network. The result is a map that both simplifies and highlights the regularities in the structure and their relationships. We illustrate the method by making a map of scientific communication as captured in the citation patterns of more than 6000 journals. We discover a multicentric organization with fields that vary dramatically in size and degree of integration into the network of science. Along the backbone of the network -- including physics, chemistry, molecular biology, and medicine -- information flows bidirectionally, but the map reveals a directional pattern of citation from the applied fields to the basic sciences.
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              Development of Land Use Regression models for PM(2.5), PM(2.5) absorbance, PM(10) and PM(coarse) in 20 European study areas; results of the ESCAPE project.

              Land Use Regression (LUR) models have been used increasingly for modeling small-scale spatial variation in air pollution concentrations and estimating individual exposure for participants of cohort studies. Within the ESCAPE project, concentrations of PM(2.5), PM(2.5) absorbance, PM(10), and PM(coarse) were measured in 20 European study areas at 20 sites per area. GIS-derived predictor variables (e.g., traffic intensity, population, and land-use) were evaluated to model spatial variation of annual average concentrations for each study area. The median model explained variance (R(2)) was 71% for PM(2.5) (range across study areas 35-94%). Model R(2) was higher for PM(2.5) absorbance (median 89%, range 56-97%) and lower for PM(coarse) (median 68%, range 32- 81%). Models included between two and five predictor variables, with various traffic indicators as the most common predictors. Lower R(2) was related to small concentration variability or limited availability of predictor variables, especially traffic intensity. Cross validation R(2) results were on average 8-11% lower than model R(2). Careful selection of monitoring sites, examination of influential observations and skewed variable distributions were essential for developing stable LUR models. The final LUR models are used to estimate air pollution concentrations at the home addresses of participants in the health studies involved in ESCAPE.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                R Soc Open Sci
                R Soc Open Sci
                RSOS
                royopensci
                Royal Society Open Science
                The Royal Society
                2054-5703
                March 2016
                23 March 2016
                23 March 2016
                : 3
                : 3
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Yahoo Labs , London, UK
                [2 ]University of Turin , Turin, Italy
                [3 ]Bell Labs , Cambridge, UK
                [4 ]University of Sheffield , Sheffield, UK
                Author notes
                Author for correspondence: Daniele Quercia e-mail: quercia@ 123456cantab.net
                Article
                rsos150690
                10.1098/rsos.150690
                4821272
                27069661
                6e496621-a46b-4348-8c96-08884904af62

                © 2016 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.

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                Funding
                Funded by: People Programme (EU Marie Curie Actions)
                Award ID: 290110
                Categories
                1003
                104
                7
                168
                Computer Science
                Research Article
                Custom metadata
                March, 2016

                urban informatics, soundscape, mapping

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