Generating vague neighbourhoods through data mining of passive web data

2017-11-23T03:46:08Z (GMT) by P. Brindley J. Goulding M. L. Wilson
<p>Neighbourhoods have been described as <i>‘the building blocks of public services society’</i>. Their subjective nature, however, and the resulting difficulties in collecting data, means that in many countries there are no officially defined neighbourhoods either in terms of names or boundaries. This has implications not only for policy but also business and social decisions as a whole. With the absence of neighbourhood boundaries many studies resort to using standard administrative units as proxies. Such administrative geographies, however, often have a poor fit with those perceived by residents. Our approach detects these important social boundaries by <i>automatically</i> mining the Web en masse for passively declared neighbourhood data within postal addresses. Focusing on the United Kingdom (UK), this research demonstrates the feasibility of automated extraction of urban neighbourhood names and their subsequent mapping as vague entities. Importantly, and unlike previous work, our process does not require any neighbourhood names to be established a priori.</p>