Mapping Our Snapping

Atlanta photo map

Flickr photo by Eric Fischer

For the “How do people think of this stuff?” file:

Eric Fischer created this map of Atlanta locals’ and tourists’ favorite photo-taking spots, using geotagging data from Flickr and Picassa. Atlanta’s is one of a series of 122 such maps from around the world.

No surprises in the favorite areas for tourists – the CNN/Centennial Olympic Park/WOC/GA Acquarium area, Atlanta Botanical Garden and the MLK memorial are among the most popular. Locals pull out the cameras most often at the Krog Street Tunnel, East Atlanta Village, downtown Decatur and, oddly, all along Ponce. Oakland Cemetery, Piedmont Park and L5P have an even-ish split.

The CL story I originally came across the map in left out the answer to one commenter’s very good question: How did Fischer know who took which pictures?

On the first page of the series he explains that “Blue points on the map are pictures taken by locals (people who have taken pictures in this city dated over a range of a month or more).

Red points are pictures taken by tourists (people who seem to be a local of a different city and who took pictures in this city for less than a month).”

Yellow points indicate that he was unable to determine whether the photographer was a tourist, because the person who posted it hadn’t taken and posted any pictures from anywhere for longer than a month.

“They are probably tourists,” Fischer wrote, “but might just not post many pictures at all.”

I’m about half illiterate cartographically, so what I really want to know is how the people who made made the notes on the Atlanta Flickr photo were sure what they were tagging on a map with no streets names.

Of course there’s a significant limitation here in that the map only tells us about the photo-taking habits of people who use Flickr or Picassa and who go to the trouble to geotag their pictures. It’s really cool just the same.

5 Comments so far

  1.   Mapping Our Snapping – Metroblogging.com (blog) by Wedding Photographer USA (pingback) on October 24th, 2010 @ 5:50 am

    [...] Mapping Our SnappingMetroblogging.com (blog)Yellow points indicate that he was unable to determine whether the photographer was a tourist, because the person who posted it hadn’t taken and posted any … [...]


  2. Patrick (unregistered) on October 25th, 2010 @ 11:49 am

    Spend enough time staring at google maps and things become pretty recognizable. Of course it helps if your job is cartography…


  3. abby on October 27th, 2010 @ 9:02 am

    I wish I could zoom in on this! Frustrating to ALMOST see it clearly. Interesting how many photos (both local and tourist) are taken/tagged at the airport.


  4. Patrick (unregistered) on October 27th, 2010 @ 9:52 am

    To see it larger, choose actions > view all sizes, and then choose “original”. You’ll get to see the full-sized version.


  5. abby on October 27th, 2010 @ 9:02 pm

    Whoa. Thanks, Patrick! That’s awesome. Feeling a little dumb, I had no idea how to find that.



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