From sunrise to sunset: Exploring landscape preference through global reactions to ephemeral events captured in georeferenced social media

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



Events profoundly influence human-environment interactions. Through repetition, some events manifest and amplify collective behavioral traits, which significantly affects landscapes and their use, meaning, and value. However, the majority of research on reaction to events focuses on case studies, based on spatial subsets of data. This makes it difficult to put observations into context and to isolate sources of noise or bias found in data. As a result, inclusion of perceived aesthetic values, for example, in cultural ecosystem services, as a means to protect and develop landscapes, remains problematic. In this work, we focus on human behavior worldwide by exploring global reactions to sunset and sunrise using two datasets collected from Instagram and Flickr. By focusing on the consistency and reproducibility of results across these datasets, our goal is to contribute to the development of more robust methods for identifying landscape preference using geo-social media data, while also exploring motivations for photographing these particular events. Based on a four facet context model, reactions to sunset and sunrise are explored for Where, Who, What, and When. We further compare reactions across different groups, with the aim of quantifying differences in behavior and information spread. Our results suggest that a balanced assessment of landscape preference across different regions and datasets is possible, which strengthens representativity and exploring the How and Why in particular event contexts. The process of analysis is fully documented, allowing transparent replication and adoption to other events or datasets.


Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0280423
Number of pages22
JournalPloS one
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2023

External IDs

unpaywall 10.1371/journal.pone.0280423
PubMed 36812172
Scopus 85148772619
ORCID /0000-0003-2949-4887/work/141545100