Alfred P. Sloan Foundation-Backed Study Sees Urban Change Via Google Street View
Nikhil Naik, Scott Duke Kominers, and their collaborators are hoping to transform the way scientists study urban environments - with an assist from Google.
In joint work with Edward L. Glaeser, the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics at Harvard and César A. Hidalgo and Ramesh Raskar, associate professors at the MIT Media Lab, Kominers, an Associate Professor in the Entrepreneurial Management Unit at HBS and the Department of Economics and Naik, a Prize Fellow in Economics, History and Politics, authored a study that uses computer vision algorithms to examine millions of Google Street View images in an effort to measure whether and how urban areas are changing.
In addition to demonstrating the effectiveness of the technology, the study both found that two key demographic characteristics - high density and high education - play important roles in urban improvement, and showed support for three classical theories of urban change. The study is described in a July 6 paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
More detailed information about the study is available online...