There are many ways of getting to know a city, but Urban Discovery reveals it from a totally new perspective. Urban Discovery’s new maps redraw urban boundaries and identify the most popular tourist and residential areas, or areas with the highest number of young shoppers. After analyzing 413 million card transactions, BBVA Data & Analytics, in collaboration with CARTO, has developed an interactive data visualization where users are invited to explore the maps of each city and even create their own labels to define the new divisions.
“Data science gives us a better idea of the dynamics in these cities, and allows us to examine how people use them according to their lifestyle; it describes the specialization in each area, and their predominant patterns and activities. In addition to sharing these findings, we give users the opportunity to play a role in enriching the project with their own contributions, and we invite them to create categories that help us add new approaches to these results”, says Juan Murillo, head of Territorial Analytics at BBVA Data & Analytics.
Among the interesting facts that can be gleaned from Urban Discovery is that tourists in Madrid spend more around monuments and museums than in Barcelona. And that the residents of Vila de Gràcia in Barcelona share the same lifestyle as the residents of the Malasaña neighborhood in Madrid. San Antoni and Poble Sec are fashionable venues for dinner followed by drinks, and in Madrid the Lavapiés neighborhood is undergoing a transformation towards more cultural activities.
How Urban Discovery works
This new study from BBVA Data & Analytics divides the city into small hexagonal cells, and registers the cells in which most purchases are made consecutively by the same customer in a maximum period of three hours. Using different algorithms, it groups the cells with a high number of shoppers in common, showing how people –residents or tourists– move around the city to make their purchases, and revealing a new urban configuration based on their most frequent displacements.
A second part shows these new divisions in the city identified with different labels that reveal the predominant activities in each area, the standard of living of its inhabitants, and the preferences of residents or tourists. Thanks to these labels, six types of zones can be distinguished in Madrid, Barcelona and Mexico City: center, prosperous neighborhood, working-class neighborhood, work centers, new developments and areas with a predominance of consumption associated to shopping centers.
“These labels are interesting because they not only classify all the communities, but because the same criteria have been applied to the three cities in the study so we can find equivalent areas with similar characteristics in Madrid, Barcelona and Mexico”, adds Murillo.
Madrid and Barcelona, according to Urban Discovery
● The urban development in Madrid and Barcelona is totally dissimilar: in Madrid there is a notable difference between the center and the peripheral ring, the location of more working-class areas with lower levels of expenditure. The working-class areas in Barcelona are located towards the mountain, whereas the new residential areas with major housing developments, which show little commercial activity and a pattern of spending concentrated at the weekends, are located mainly in the upper part of the city and in the area around the Olympic Village and Diagonal Mar.
● Municipal administrative divisions do not match the activities of residents and tourists.
● Shopping areas differ according to the age of the residents and tourists.
● Business activity in Madrid is concentrated in the northern part of the city, whereas in Barcelona it is distributed throughout the residential fabric, except for the cluster of newer companies occurring in the area of Poble Nou and Diagonal Mar.
● Nightlife and weekend activity have two clearly defined areas in both cities and cover a large part of their respective centers.
● Tourism management in Madrid and Barcelona is also different: In Madrid, all the areas with cultural attractions are connected and are surrounded by a large number of retailers, something which interestingly does not occur in the areas around certain tourist hotspots in the Catalan capital.
● Twin neighborhoods: Chueca and Malasaña in Madrid have their equivalent in the Gràcia neighborhood in Barcelona.
PayStats, the BBVA API that you can use as a basis for similar studies
Urban Discovery, whose results are open and reusable, forms part of BBVA’s vision of sharing its data to contribute to the development of society and encourage innovation and development by applying new methodologies and information sources to very different cases of use.
PayStats is the BBVA API that you can use as a basis for conducting studies similar to Urban Discovery, because offers companies the best transactional information available on the market, as it provides data on millions of transactions made with BBVA cards and any other bank cards at BBVA POS, allowing the creation of a virtual map so users can analyze the consumption habits of –in this case– the inhabitants or residents of a city.
The information provided by PayStats is updated weekly and includes data on five aspects of the transaction: territorial unit, time, type of business, gender and age. The API can thus offer metrics such as ticket amount (maximum, minimum and average ticket, standard deviation and mode), number of purchases, number of different cards (individuals) and peak and trough shopping hours and days.
The PayStats API is designed for any type of business: market analysis companies, new businesses in search of the best location, franchises looking to optimize their network, any company wanting to gain a better understanding of their customers’ consumption behavior, retail space management companies, consulting firms, business schools and research institutions.
PayStats improves the knowledge of the customers and the business and makes it possible to offer added value through the data analysis it offers.
Are you interested in financial APIs? See BBVA’s catalog at this website