Web Scraping and Airbnb Rentals in Austin, Boston, Chicago, D.C., and San Francisco

Friday Sept. 2, 2016 , noon to 1:30 p.m.
Location: Goldsmith Hall
by Dr. Junfeng Jiao & Dr. Jake Wegmann, featuring Dr. Junfeng Jiao

Junfeng Jiao is an Assistant Professor in the Community and Regional Planning Program and Co-director of the Urban Information Lab in the School of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin. He received his PhD in Urban Design and Planning from the University of Washington and three Masters in Transportation Engineering, Geographic Information System (GIS), and Architecture from the University of Washington, University of Twente and Wuhan University, respectively.

Dr. Jiao’s research investigates the application of GIS and information technology to understand people’s access to urban infrastructures and the related health impact. Dr. Jiao has published over 25 academic papers and book chapters in different peer review journals e.g. American Journal of Public Health, Preventive Medicine Reports, International Journal of Obesity, Journal of Transport and Health, Journal of Transport and Land Use, Journal of Public Transportation etc. These studies used a variety of GIS and information technologies to examine people’s access to food, biking, and transit facilities and the related health outcomes.


This is a joint research project finished by Dr. Junfeng Jiao and Dr. Jake Waggman at UT-CRP program. 

Airbnb and other similar sharing economy rentals have surged in U.S. cities in recent years. This new and understudied phenomenon raises concerns about effects on city life. It’s still unknown where, why, and how Airbnb listings are distributed in cities. To answer this question, this study collected the Airbnb listings in Austin, Boston, Chicago, D.C., and San Francisco in 2015 through web scraping and the built environment characteristics around listings through GIS. The results showed that Airbnb listings were highly unevenly distributed within cities and concentrated in popular neighborhoods with a younger population and more store fronts. Commercially-oriented hosts accounted for a large share of revenues in all five cities. 


{first come, first serve}

See you there!