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Sunday Photoblogging: Locals, Tourists, and Data

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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Flickr user Eric Fischer has done something very interesting. By accessing the geolocation information in photos uploaded to Flickr and Picasa, he’s been able to map out the locations that tend to be photographed by locals and those that tend to be photographed by tourists.

Blue dots are for locals (people who have taken pictures in a city over a period of a month or more), red are for tourists (people who took pictures in a city for less than a month) and yellow dots represent photos of undetermined origin.

Here are two maps for Los Angeles. The first one shows Santa Monica and West LA. The second one shows downtown LA and Pasadena. I’ve taken the maps and added labels.

Santa Monica and West LA. Click to enlarge.

Downtown LA and Pasadena. Click to enlarge.

Eyeballing these maps, it appears as if tourists tend to take photos at a handful of common locations, while locals tend to take photos primarily everywhere else. UCLA/Westwood seems to be the exception to that trend. It also appears as if those who live in Pasadena (at least among the photos included in this analysis) don’t use their cameras all that much.

I wonder what would result if I mapped my photos onto these images?

Jason G. Goldman About the Author: Dr. Jason G. Goldman received his Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at the University of Southern California, where he studied the evolutionary and developmental origins of the mind in humans and non-human animals. Jason is also an editor at ScienceSeeker and Editor of Open Lab 2010. He lives in Los Angeles, CA. Follow on . Follow on Twitter @jgold85.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.





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