Temporal geographies of encounter


Vinicius M. Netto [Urban Studies, UFF]

Maíra Pinheiro [Statistics and Urban modelling]

João Meirelles [Complex Systems, EPFL | École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne]

Henrique Leite [Planning, Data Science]


A (social) network of encounters in the city: intensity of potential encounters between different income groups.


Integrating social and spatial networks will be critical to new approaches to cities as material systems of interaction. We propose a way of doing so by focusing on the spatial and temporal conditions of formation of social networks – namely, on ‘encounters’ as a key social event. Drawing on classic approaches such as Hägerstrand’s time-geography and recent explorations of social media locational data, we analyse the space-time structure of potential encounters latent in the urban trajectories of agents. This approach allows us to estimate trajectories examining geographic spatiotemporal positions in tweets, visualise potentially overlapping networks, and assess levels of social diversity on the streets – in a temporal ‘geography of potential encounters’.


Elusive geographies of encounter: space-time prism for the varying intensity of inferred encounters between Twitter users in Rio (top). Number of potential encounters in time (bottom left) and an analysis of their clusterization in space (tKFunction, bottom right).


We’ve just submitted a new paper with this model and look forward to bringing the pre-print to this website.

For more, see this post.

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