Flickr and Picasa Data Used to Map Tourist Behavior

Travel News — By Carlo Alcos on June 21, 2010 at 8:02 am

If you need some help determining what, exactly, the beaten track is in a given destination, maybe these maps will help shed some light.

As reported by the Daily Mail, computer programmer, Eric Fisher of Oakland, California, has compiled data using the photo-sharing sites Flickr and Picasa and presented it in color-coded fashion to show where photographers are taking their pictures.

Using date and location information from the websites, Fisher was also able to make a distinction between tourists and locals. His criteria? People with photos spread over a time period of more than a month were considered locals, where anything under a month was tourist. For those who fell in between, he accounted for them as well by marking them a separate color on the maps.

The results are city maps that show in red (tourists), blue (locals), and yellow (undetermined) in clusters around the most photographed areas.

Manhattan: dense tourist action around the Statue of Liberty and mid-town

As the Wall Street Journal points out, as far as bridge photography goes, the Brooklyn Bridge is the tourist mecca, while neighboring Manhattan Bridge has a purplish hue (a mix of locals and tourists), while the even further Williamsburg Bridge claims mostly locals.

And according to, known hotspots in Denver like the Capitol, Civic Center Park, and 16th Street Mall are inundated with red (tourists), but lesser-known sites like Commons Park along the South Platte River, and between the Museum of Contemporary Art and Union Station showed mostly blue (locals).

For all Fisher’s satellite maps, visit his Flickr page.

[Image: author]

Tags: Flickr, maps, photography, Picasa

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