Skip to main content

Big Data Methods and Volunteered Geographic Information in Urban Studies

With the development of information and communications technology, a huge volume of volunteered geographic information (VGI) and user-generated content (UGC) are created. Sources of Volunteered Geographic Information include collaborative mapping projects (e.g., OpenStreetMap and WikiMapia) and social media (e.g., Flickr, Foursquare, Twitter, Facebook). On the one hand, VGI is densely distributed in urban areas, offering new opportunities to undertake researches in urban studies, including transport, urban planning, tourism and mobility/migration. On the other hand, collection, preprocessing and analysis of VGI data are different with those of common geo-data. Particularly, VGI and UGC contain a large volume of noisy and unstructured information. To better use VGI in urban studies, new methods and techniques need to be found and discussed. Big data methods & techniques dedicated to dealing with large-sized and complex data sets pave a way to collection, preprocessing and analysis of VGI. Moreover, data mining methods which are widely used to extract useful information from a huge volume of information could assist in analysis of VGI in the context of urban studies.

This special issue is dedicated to disseminate new progress on utilization of big data methods and VGI in urban studies.

Guest Editors

Dr. Yeran Sun, University of Glasgow, Scotland (
Dr. Yunyan Du, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China (

  1. With popular location-based services on smart phones, users are willing to leave comments on the business venues (e.g., restaurants, shops, bars, etc.) that they visited. Reviews of users on Yelp venues somewh...

    Authors: Yeran Sun and Jorge David Gonzalez Paule
    Citation: Open Geospatial Data, Software and Standards 2017 2:5
  2. In this study, we clustered a large number of microblog users into city nodes based on the interpersonal relations and geographic location attributes of these users and clustered the user relations within each...

    Authors: Shen Ying, Nuocheng Zhang, Kai Wang, Zhigang Zhao, Zhou Shen and Deguo Su
    Citation: Open Geospatial Data, Software and Standards 2017 2:2
  3. Emergency call centres, commonly known as “112” or “911”, are a crucial part of modern infrastructure. The location of the emergency, any related data, and good GIS support are required for their efficient ope...

    Authors: Marjan Šterk and Marko Praprotnik
    Citation: Open Geospatial Data, Software and Standards 2017 2:1
  4. Hitchhiking is a well-known form of transportation, which has been extensively studied from a sociological perspective. While this tourism approach has been popular in some countries for decades, the question ...

    Authors: Oleksii Vedernikov, Lars Kulik and Kotagiri Ramamohanarao
    Citation: Open Geospatial Data, Software and Standards 2016 1:12
  5. This article offers an alternative look at the experiential character of the built environment by combining objective analysis and subjective perception. The aim is to measure and elaborate on quantitative des...

    Authors: Allen Sayegh, Stefano Andreani, Chrisoula Kapelonis, Natasha Polozenko and Stefan Stanojevic
    Citation: Open Geospatial Data, Software and Standards 2016 1:11
  6. Swift population growth and unplanned settlement led to the phenomenon of informal urban in Iraqi cities because of warfare, political instability and economic blockage for more than three decades. Economic st...

    Authors: Najat Qader Omar and Aram Mohammed Raheem
    Citation: Open Geospatial Data, Software and Standards 2016 1:10