Eric Fischer has made a project of sifting through geotagged information in order to produce beautiful maps of things like tweets. He's taken that one step further, sorting through the information to compare the places in cities where tourists (in red) and locals (in blue) take photos.

Cropped map of London by Eric Fischer/flickr/CC-By-SA 2.0

In the flickr album for this project — which has 136 maps — Fischer explains:

Some people interpreted the Geotaggers' World Atlas maps to be maps of tourism. This set is an attempt to figure out if that is really true. Some cities (for example Las Vegas and Venice) do seem to be photographed almost entirely by tourists. Others seem to have many pictures taken in piaces that tourists don't visit.

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 are pictures where it can't be determined whether or not the photographer was a tourist (because they haven't taken pictures anywhere for over a month). They are probably tourists but might just not post many pictures at all.


If you live in — or have once lived in — one of the cities Fischer has mapped, it's the work of a moment to figure out exactly what the bright red spots are — in the New York City map below, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty shine off the coast. And Central Park is red rectangle:

Basically, the dense red areas also represent the places that locals only go to when they absolutely have to. I'd avoid any of the red areas of my hometown and where I live like the plague. Granted, I hate crowds and traffic.

New York's a city where everyone, locals and tourists, appear to be taking pictures. The images from some other cities either show that the locals aren't taking pictures or there's a mass disabling of geotagging going on. Rome, for example:


You can also explore the world in the interactive version of the work at mapbox, where Fischer works, and zoom out to reveal the most-photographed tourist spots in the world. Are there any surprises where you live? Anywhere you thought more people were taking pictures? Anywhere that where locals are taking more pictures than you'd expect?

For example, Mika McKinnon pointed out the huge blue swath in the downtown East Side of Vancouver. And the bright red pinprick of the nude beach:


Let us know the peculiarities of you home in the comments.

All photos from the Locals and Tourists album by Eric Fischer/flickr/CC-By-SA 2.0


Share This Story

Get our newsletter