Community Informatics

This Is Not Just a Café: Toward Capturing the Dynamics of Urban Places

Social media has provided a huge amount of user-generated data in capturing urban dynamics. Among them, place-level human behavior has been largely detected through people’s check-in records at certain places. Conventionally, places are characterized by a set of pre-defined features, often specified by the owner of the places. In this paper, we argue that capturing socially-meaningful features and dynamics of an urban place may also be done by analyzing human activity traces.

On Information Deserts

Information accessibility problems include diverse types of human- and system-driven barriers that make it difficult for individuals to access desired information. These issues have been studied in two main streams: (1) a human-centered view based on the understand­ing of individual-level characteristics such as physical impairment and economic status, and (2) a technology-focused view that emphasizes system-based factors such as the information filtering techniques and interface designs.

Information Behavior of International Students Settling in an Unfamiliar Geo-spatial Environment

This paper presents the findings from a project about how international students seek and acquire information during their settlement in an unknown geo-spatial environment. Through semi-structured interviews, questionnaires, and cognitive mapping with twenty international students, this study examines their information needs, information sources, and settlement experiences in the host country.

"I know where that is": Cultural Differences in Perception of New Places

This research project had been conducted for my master's thesis (Master of Information Management degree). I conceptualized cultual background with Hall's high- and low-context culture (1976) and tried to see whether people's perceptions of urban places vary between physical addresses and symbolic representations of spaces (landmarks), when their cultural backgrounds were different. A survey questionnaire was used to measure cultural background, and a web-based online game was used to measure people's perceptions of places.

"What Makes a Place More Familiar?": Implications of Geospatial Information Format and Content

Geo-local systems can significantly increase users' familiarity with new places. However, for these systems to be useful, geospatial information needs to be presented in ways that those systems can minimize users' difficulties of learning about a new place. This raises a fundamental question about what kinds and representations of geospatial information are effective in making a place more familiar, so that people can adjust to the place more easily even before visiting the unfamiliar world.

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