Maps Show a Tourist’s-Eye View of Cities

"Aspects of the built environment subtly indicate the socioeconomic status of a neighborhood." 

(Credit: Beñat Arreg)

This is your first of three free stories this month. Become a free or sustaining member to read unlimited articles, webinars and ebooks.

Become A Member

What does your city look like through the eyes of tourists? A new project from data visualizer Beñat Arreg aims to answer that question with publicly accessible Airbnb ratings superimposed as bright colors on city maps.

Arreg’s project looks at how visitors pick up subtle (and not-so-subtle) cues from the built environment to assess the cityscape. It was partially inspired by a trip to Athens, Inverse reports.

“I was told by my host not to go [to the north side of the city] because it was dangerous or not worth seeing. So I was curious and went there,” he recently told the site. The area felt safe but was run down. Stores were closed and streets were nearly empty.

His mapping project has underscored that experience. Dozens of Airbnb users gave their accommodations on the north side of Athens low reviews, but centrally located hosts were given more stars. According to Inverse:

The status of street lamps that illuminate paths at night, the variety of commercial and residential buildings, and other aspects of the built environment all subtly indicate the socioeconomic status of a neighborhood. If machine learning can crack this code, a flock of tourists can do it, too.

Arreg’s maps show Airbnb’s star ratings from green to mauve, with green representing a 5-star rating and mauve indicating less than 2.5 stars. His website lists 14 cities, including Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Hong Kong, Paris, San Francisco and Venice. See all his maps here.

Like what you’re reading? Get a browser notification whenever we post a new story. You’re signed-up for browser notifications of new stories. No longer want to be notified? Unsubscribe.

Rachel Dovey is an award-winning freelance writer and former USC Annenberg fellow living at the northern tip of California’s Bay Area. She writes about infrastructure, water and climate change and has been published by Bust, Wired, Paste, SF Weekly, the East Bay Express and the North Bay Bohemian

Follow Rachel .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Tags: mappingairbnb

×
Next City App Never Miss A StoryDownload our app ×
×

You've reached your monthly limit of three free stories.

This is not a paywall. Become a free or sustaining member to continue reading.

  • Read unlimited stories each month
  • Our email newsletter
  • Webinars and ebooks in one click
  • Our Solutions of the Year magazine
  • Support solutions journalism and preserve access to all readers who work to liberate cities

Join 1064 other sustainers such as:

  • Ann at $5/Month
  • Linda at $25/Year
  • Adrian at $18.00/Month

Already a member? Log in here. U.S. donations are tax-deductible minus the value of thank-you gifts. Questions? Learn more about our membership options.

or pay by credit card:

All members are automatically signed-up to our email newsletter. You can unsubscribe with one-click at any time.

  • Donate $20 or $5/Month

    20th Anniversary Solutions of the Year magazine

has donated ! Thank you 🎉
Donate
×