The Senseable City Lab together with leading Spanish bank BBVA has embarked on an examination of expenditure patterns and urban analysis at large, using an unprecedented dataset of financial transactions.
The first in a series of studies, Spring Spree illustrates the purchasing patterns across Spain during Easter 2011. Using data gathered by the BBVA banking network, this visualization shows how 1.4 million
individuals and 374,220 businesses performed over 4 million transactions for a total of €232 million in the week of Easter 2011.
Examining spatio-temporal transactions categorized by the type of sale (e.g. food, fashion, restaurants), it is possible to see distinctive patterns emerging such as the spikes in the purchase of food in the days proceeding the Easter holiday. As another year and another Easter come by, will these spending patterns be
replicated? If so, can we use this predictability to improve urban services and better serve city dwellers?
As the partnership between BBVA and MIT continues, research will delve into the underlying drivers of consumer behavior, risk analysis of individuals and businesses, and how we can better understand the city environment based upon the digital footprints left behind by its inhabitants.