Recommending attractive thematic regions by semantic community detection with multi-sourced VGI data

Zhewei Liu, Xiaolin Zhou, Wenzhong Shi, Anshu Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Attractive regions can be detected and recommended by investigating users’ online footprints. However, social media data suffers from short noisy text and lack of a-priori knowledge, impeding the usefulness of traditional semantic modelling methods. Another challenge is the need for an effective strategy for the selection/recommendation of candidate regions. To address these challenges, we propose a comprehensive workflow which combines semantic and location information of social media data to recommend thematic urban regions to users with specific interests. This workflow is novel in: (1) developing a data-driven geographic topic modelling method which utilizes the co-occurrence patterns of self-explanatory semantic information to detect semantic communities; (2) proposing a new recommendation strategy with the consideration of region’s spatial scale. The workflow was implemented using a real-world dataset and evaluation conducted at three different levels: semantic representativeness, topic identification and recommendation desirability. The evaluation showed that the semantic communities detected were internally consistent and externally differentiable and that the recommended regions had a high degree of desirability. The work has demonstrated the effectiveness of self-explanatory semantic information for geographic topic modelling and highlighted the importance of including region spatial scale into the model for an effective region recommending strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1520-1544
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Journal of Geographical Information Science
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2019


  • community detection
  • geographic topic modelling
  • Location recommendation
  • multi-sourced VGI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Library and Information Sciences


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