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From Data to Rhizomes: Applying a Geographical Concept to Understand the Mobility of Tourists from Geo-Located Tweets

1
Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures, University of Bergamo, Via Salvecchio 19, 24129 Bergamo, Italy
2
Consortium for Technology Transfer C2T, Corso di Porta Vittoria, 28, 20122 Milano, Italy
3
Department of Management, Information and Production Engineering, University of Bergamo, Viale Marconi 5, 24044 Dalmine, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Informatics 2021, 8(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics8010001
Received: 23 October 2020 / Revised: 9 December 2020 / Accepted: 17 December 2020 / Published: 24 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Digital Humanities)
In geography, the concept of “rhizome” provides a theoretical tool to conceive the way people move in space in terms of “mobility networks”: the space lived by people is delimited and characterized on the basis of both the places they visited and the sequences of their transfers from place to place. Researchers are now wondering whether in the new era of data-driven geography it is possible to give a concrete shape to the concept of rhizome, by analyzing big data describing movement of people traced through social media. This paper is a first attempt to give a concrete shape to the concept of rhizome, by interpreting it as a problem of “itemset mining”, which is a well-known data mining technique. This technique was originally developed for market-basket analysis. We studied how the application of this technique, if supported by adequate visualization strategies, can provide geographers with a concrete shape for rhizomes, suitable for further studies. To validate the ideas, we chose the case study of tourists visiting a city: the rhizome can be conceived as the set of places visited by many tourists, and the common transfers made by tourists in the area of the city. Itemsets extracted from a real-life data set were used to study the effectiveness of both a topographic representation and a topological representation to visualize rhizomes. In this paper, we study how three different interpretations are actually able to give a concrete and visual shape to the concept of rhizome. The results that we present and discuss in this paper open further investigations on the problem. View Full-Text
Keywords: mobility networks of people; geo-located tweets; itemset mining; concrete shapes for rhizomes mobility networks of people; geo-located tweets; itemset mining; concrete shapes for rhizomes
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MDPI and ACS Style

Burini, F.; Cortesi, N.; Psaila, G. From Data to Rhizomes: Applying a Geographical Concept to Understand the Mobility of Tourists from Geo-Located Tweets. Informatics 2021, 8, 1. https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics8010001

AMA Style

Burini F, Cortesi N, Psaila G. From Data to Rhizomes: Applying a Geographical Concept to Understand the Mobility of Tourists from Geo-Located Tweets. Informatics. 2021; 8(1):1. https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics8010001

Chicago/Turabian Style

Burini, Federica; Cortesi, Nicola; Psaila, Giuseppe. 2021. "From Data to Rhizomes: Applying a Geographical Concept to Understand the Mobility of Tourists from Geo-Located Tweets" Informatics 8, no. 1: 1. https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics8010001

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