Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



Major Professor

Shih-Lung Shaw

Committee Members

Bruce Ralston, Liem Tran


This empirical study aims to analyze relationships between online social network (OSN) friends and spatio-temporal proximity of their geotagged photos, using Flickr data as a case study. First, this study analyzes whether Flickr friends tend to post geotagged photos that are closer to each other compared to Flickr non-friends in space and time. Second, this study investigates whether the number of geotagged photos posted by users is related to the distance and time difference between their geotagged photos. Third, this study examines the spatial distributions of geotagged photos of Flickr friends within specific distance intervals to further understand the geographic meanings of Flickr user’s geotagging activities. Findings of this study can improve our understanding of the relationship between users’ virtual friendships and their physical activities. These understandings can support future research, including location-based services, location-based OSN searches, and location-based online marketing.

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