Understanding tourists’ urban images with geotagged photos using convolutional neural networks

Dongeun Kim, Youngok Kang, Yerim Park, Nayeon Kim, Juyoon Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


This study aims to track down representative images and elements of sightseeing attractions by analyzing the photos uploaded on Flickr by Seoul tourists with the image mining technique. For this purpose, we crawled the photos uploaded on Flickr and classified users into residents and tourists; drew 11 region of attractions (RoA) in Seoul by analyzing the spatial density of the photos; classified the photos into 1000 categories and then 14 categories by grouping 1000 categories by utilizing Inception V3 model; analyzed the characteristics of the photo image by RoA. Key findings of this study are that tourists are interested in old palaces, historical monuments, stores, food, etc. and those key elements are distinguished from the major sightseeing attractions in Seoul. More specifically, tourists are more interested in palaces and cultural assets in Jongno and Namsan, food and restaurants in Shinchon, Hongdae, Itaewon, Yeouido, Garosu-gil, and Apgujeong, war monuments or specific artifacts in War Memorial and the National Museum of Korea, facilities, temples, and pictures of cultural properties in Samsung Station, and toyshops in Jamsil. This study is meaningful in three folds: first, it tries to analyze urban image through the photos posted on SNS by tourists. Second, it uses deep learning technique to analyze the photos. Third, it classifies and analyzes the whole photos posted by Seoul tourists while most of other researches focus on only specific objects. However, this study has a limitation because the Inception v3 model which has been used in this research is a pre-trained model created by training the ImageNet data. In future research, it is necessary to classify photo categories according to the purpose of tourism and retrain the model by creating new training data set focusing on elements of Korea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-255
Number of pages15
JournalSpatial Information Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This Research was supported by the Technology Advancement Research Program funded by Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of Korean government (Grant No. 19CTAP-C151886-01).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, The Author(s).


  • Convolutional neural network
  • Flickr
  • Geotagged photos
  • Image data mining
  • Inception v3 model


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