Transfer learning of a deep learning model for exploring tourists’ urban image using geotagged photos

Youngok Kang, Nahye Cho, Jiyoung Yoon, Soyeon Park, Jiyeon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Recently, as computer vision and image processing technologies have rapidly advanced in the artificial intelligence (AI) field, deep learning technologies have been applied in the field of urban and regional study through transfer learning. In the tourism field, studies are emerging to analyze the tourists’ urban image by identifying the visual content of photos. However, previous studies have limitations in properly reflecting unique landscape, cultural characteristics, and traditional elements of the region that are prominent in tourism. With the purpose of going beyond these limitations of previous studies, we crawled 168,216 Flickr photos, created 75 scenes and 13 categories as a tourist’ photo classification by analyzing the characteristics of photos posted by tourists and developed a deep learning model by continuously re-training the Inception-v3 model. The final model shows high accuracy of 85.77% for the Top 1 and 95.69% for the Top 5. The final model was applied to the entire dataset to analyze the regions of attraction and the tourists’ urban image in Seoul. We found that tourists feel attracted to Seoul where the modern features such as skyscrapers and uniquely designed architectures and traditional features such as palaces and cultural elements are mixed together in the city. This work demonstrates a tourist photo classification suitable for local characteristics and the process of re-training a deep learning model to effectively classify a large volume of tourists’ photos.

Original languageEnglish
Article number137
JournalISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Convolutional neural network
  • Deep learning model
  • Inception-v3 model
  • Tourists’ photo classification
  • Transfer learning


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