05 Cluster

Urban metaMorphology Lab °°° Tampere

Exploring social media data to map the invisible image of the city.

5 > 16 June 2017

Tampere Univ. of Technology - Finalnd

38 participants X 15 nationalities

7 disciplines - Ba, Ma, Ph.D. and professionals

Pop Spots Helsinki

Exploring the Popularity of Helsinki districts

How does popularity of Helsinki districts differ? How can these differences be registered in everyday feed on social media? In this study we used Foursquare and Instagram data to analyze and map trends on social media of the city’s most popular areas.

Collective landscape of Helsinki

Using Instagram data to reveal how the city of Helsinki is perceived

Researchers used 9000 Instagram pictures to reveal the collective landscape of the city of Helsinki. This project presents the local views of visual landscapes instead of defining visual landscapes for branding strategies merely by a top-down manner, defined by local government and city authorities.

Perception and consumption

The cultural representation of alcohol consumption through social media data

In this study we examine alcohol usage through social media. With visual, spatial and temporal data available we study what, when, how and where people drink on Instagram. This tells how people want their drinking to be perceived. We compare our observations with alcohol consumption statistics obtained from National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). This imagery affects norms, namely, what is consider normal and accepted. 

Helsinki, life in transit

Revealing the social life of mobility places in the city

Through analysis of social media data, we set out to explore transit hubs in Helsinki. We identify potential for future development, as well as highlight already well-connected locations that could be enhanced to facilitate future urban encounters.

Pearl(s) of the Baltic Sea

researching the urban waterfront of downtown helsinki

What does the small and shiny pearl of Helsinki actually include? What are the spaces and activities which form its unique character and identity  especially as a seaside city? What does the waterfront location mean to the citizens  what is the value of it? Does the pearl have smaller beads inside of it – or actually, should we reconsider the waterfront of Helsinki more as a necklace than as a single pearl?

Celebrate Helsinki

Helsinki speaks out about celebration practices through the Instagram data.

Celebrate Helsinki is a study of the ways public and private space are presented in urban surroundings during three different holidays: Vappu, 1st of May, Juhannus – Midsummer and Uusi vuosi – New Year. We studied Instagram-pictures from these three holidays and compared them with control periods. In this study, the social media data from Instagram is a way of gaining access, grasping these new contemporary aspects of urban public life and its informal, casual aspects. Instagram is a place for (at least young people) to share their experiences with their friends and followers, to represent their identities and connect with people.

This workshop uses location-based social media data to unveil, map and study the metaMorphology of the city. Participants will use large datasets from Instagram, Twitter and Airbnb to find meta-trends to map activity patterns using geographic information software and image analysis. Nine speakers will enrich the seminar series and six hands-on workshops will present the techniques used by the research industry to study the interactions between people and the city. The Lab will explore the relations between urban amenities and the image of place to gain a new understanding the qualitative aspects of social practices and the narrative of urban spaces.

Linked to ongoing research projects and international collaborations, Tampere University of Technology organizes this international summer school to present advanced social media analysis, cutting edge visual representation of GIS data and crash intro into Lev Manovich cultural analytics applied to place making.

The Lab is open to architects, urbanists, geographers, data scientist, sociologists and digital anthropologists. Students and specialists from other disciplines are welcome to apply.

Digital anthropology workshop

Data visualisation tutorials

Activity patterns analysis workshop

Spatial relations analysis workshop

Street network analysis workshop

Image montage workshop

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turku a sense of place
activity patterns
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Open to all local and international students or post graduates. In limited number we also accept professionals.

Field of study

The workshop is focused on urbanism, social sciences, media and computer science but it is open to all.

Minimum requirements

None required. Team will be balanced based on your personal skill set but you should be having a steep leaning curve for new methods


Teams will work together using multiple techniques and media to reveal the invisible image of the city. Together, we will dig deep into social media data to produce maps, images montages and write the hidden story of the invisible form of the city.

Click on the images to see previous projects related to the Urban metaMorphology Lab


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Urban metaMorphology Lab in Turku

05 Cluster



Urban metaMorphology Lab in St. Petersburg


A sense of place

turku a sense of place

Russian monotowns project



A short list of the main datasets available for the workshop



Damiano Cerrone

Co-director and faculty

metaMorphology. Studying the invisible forms of the city

Damiano Cerrone is co-founder and content manager at SPIN Unit, a transnational urban research group combining art and science to find new and creative approaches to urban studies and advanced data solutions. Damiano is also Project researcher at Tampere University of Technology and principal researcher at TERREFORM New York. He received the Young Scholar award at the ESRI UC in San Diego and the second prize for the world Most unique map of the year. Cerrone introduced with SPIN Unit the conceptual framework for Urban metaMorphology, to develop a new research enquiry on the invisible forms of the city using geolocated social media data.

panu lehtovuori

Prof. Panu Lehtovuori

Lab co-director and faculty

Temporary urbanism

Panu Lehtovuori is the Professor of Planning Theory at the Tampere University of Technology, School of Architecture. Before the current position, he was the Professor of Urban Studies at the Estonian Academy of Arts, Faculty of Architecture (2005-2008 in charge, 2008-2012 full professor). Lehtovuori and his team have received several prizes, purchases, and mentions in architectural and planning competitions. He is a member of the editorial board of The Finnish Journal of Urban Studies and the Finnish Architectural Review. He is also authored the new, thoroughly updated edition of Key Concepts in Urban Studies, an international academic bestseller since 2005.

jesus lopez

Jesús López Baeza

Workshop instructor and faculty

Social media data analysis in urban planning

Jesús López Baeza is a Ph.D. candidate in Architecture at the University of Alicante. He collaborates with the department of Building Science and Urban Planning and carries out his research in the Building Design and Regional Planning Unit. As a member of SPIN Unit, he focuses on the study of urban phenomena using location-based social media data and GIS open data. Part of his work encompasses social cohesion, activities and livability of urban spaces, and citizen preferences in urban public spaces, among other dynamics. He combines his research with architectural design practice specialising in advanced spatial analysis.


Prof. Anssi Joutsiniemi

Invited lecturer

Metapolis. Space Syntax and beyond

Anssi Joutsiniemi is Adjunct Professor at the Aalto University. His research interests are centered on issues of complex system approaches in urban planning and his work include topics of urban modelling, morphological analyses and rule-based planning. His expertise is in GIS and computational methods in urban planning and design and his more recent research interests are in distributed urban modelling and simulation and algorithmic problem solving in a design process. Joutsiniemi also works as Associate Professor in Tampere University of Technology and holds Adjunct Associate Professorship in Curtin University, Australia.

michiru new

Dr. Michiru Nagatsu

Invited lecturer

Urban emotions: extended or shared?

I am a philosopher of science at TINT: Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence in the Philosophy of the Social Sciences, University of Helsinki. I also occasionally teach at Tallinn University of Technology and I’m an associate member of Spatial Intelligence Unit. My focus is on economics, and my particular interest is in how it is related to its neighbouring disciplines such as ecology, sociology, psychology and cognitive science. I’m more broadly interested in the foundations of human rationality, sociality and morality, and in how these issues can be informed by science and philosophy. I enjoy freshly roasted coffee, climbing, cycling and craft beer, in order of preference (but sometimes violating transitivity).


Prof. Harry Edelman

Invited lecturer

Urban Informatics – Towards digital understanding and experience on cities

Prof. Harry Edelman (Dr. Arch.) holds the Chair of Sustainable Design and Development at the Tampere University of Technology. His current multidisciplinary research interests include using computer vision for data driven design, sustainability in procedural modeling, and resiliency in urban redevelopment. Prof. Edelman has practiced architecture in Finland, Germany, and Italy. He has founded Edelman Group – a consultancy designing integrated urban solutions and assisting stakeholders in urban development negotiations.

sampo ruoppila

Dr. Sampo Ruoppila

Invited lecturer

Applied urban research

Dr. Sampo Ruoppila is research director of urban studies at the University of Turku, Finland, and director of Turku Urban Research Programme, a joint initiative between the City of Turku and universities to support academic urban research and promote research based policy advice for urban governance. Dr. Ruoppila is a specialist of urban policy and planning issues. His recent research topics include mainstream and alternative approaches in culture-led urban regeneration, development of Chinese university towns, and mobile participation in urban planning.

Darya Radchenko Strelka KB

Darya Radchenko

Invited lecturer and faculty

Digital anthropology in 38 Russian FIFA ‘18 cities

Daria Radchenko (PhD in Cultural Studies) is the vice-director of the Centre for Urban Anthropology at KB Strelka since 2015, leading the area of digital research. She also holds the position of senior researcher of Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, where she is working on the long-term project on the folklore of social media. Since 2005 she has been working in the field of on internet folklore and digital anthropology with a special interest in transmission of vernacular texts, and has published over 60 papers on these topics.


Dr. Lieven Ameel

Invited lecturer

Narratives that form the city

Critic, teacher, translator. Lieven is Adjunct Professor (Docent) in urban studies and planning methods at the Tampere University of Technology. He is the author of Helsinki in Early Twentieth-Century Literature, still the only study of Helsinki in Finnish-written literature to date. The book is based on his doctoral dissertation Moved by the City, which is available online here.

Lieven is currently researching the use and structure of narrative in urban planning. Specifically, he is examining the areas of Kalasatama and Jätkäsaari in Helsinki. More on this project here. He is also continuing work on literary cities, mostly Helsinki, but more recently also New York, and on the examination of the genre of the city novel

Tatiana Mukhina

Tatiana Mukhina

Invited speaker

Designing public space for 40 Russian cities

Tatiana Mukhina is an urban planner and researcher, currently working at Strelka KB in Moscow. She graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from Moscow Architectural Institute, and later received two Master degrees from the Bauhaus University, Weimar and Tongji University, Shanghai. She has worked in China and Moscow as an urban planner and designer, and undertakes independent research as well.
At Strelka KB she is working on the FIFA project,  aiming to radically improve central public spaces of 40 Russian cities before the championship, and leaving the basis for the public space development afterwards.
renee puusepp

Renee Puusepp

Invited speaker

Tallinn City Centre study and pedestrian simulation

Renee is an architect, entrepreneur, and a researcher in the Estonian Academy of Arts, where he currently works on pedestrian modelling in cities. He runs a London-based architectural technology consultancy Slider Studio and Creatomus Solution based in Tallinn. He is driven by the vision of mass-customisation of architecture – developing “machines” that create architecture. He dreams of making one of such machines that influences masses, making everyone’s lives a little bit better.

Having finished his formal training and started professional career as an architect in Estonia, he completed MSc in Computing and Design as well as a PhD in Architecture at University of East London. In 2011, he was awarded a doctorate degree for his thesis investigating advanced architectural modelling technologies.

georgiana v

Georgina Varna

Invited talk

Star model in analysing public space


Jaana Vanhatalo

Faculty - TUT

GIS and admin

Jaana Vanhatalo has a masters (M. Sc.) in Region Studies from Tampere University and has worked as a project researcher in the School of Architecture at TUT since 2010. She also teaches in urban planning (mainly GIS) and Master’s thesis workshop -course. Her research interests are urban planning and planning processes, participation in planning, accessibility issues and GIS as a planning tool. She is starting PhD work concerning dilemmas of defining urban areas.


School of Architecture, Tampere University of Technology | FINLAND

School of Architecture website

Korkeakoulunkatu 5, Rakennustalo, 33101 Tampere, Finland

Contact person: Damiano Cerrone