Geotagger's World Atlas, an Interactive Data Visualization that Maps Locations of Flickr Uploads

A recent article from data artist and software developer Eric Fischer of Mapbox pulls geo-location data from the images uploaded to Flickr, then maps them to create beautiful visualizations of popular photo points across the City.

A cluster of geotagged photos is a good indicator of the interestingness of a place because it signifies that people went there in the first place, saw something worth taking a picture of, and put the extra effort into posting it online for others to appreciate. And a sequence of photos along a route is even more significant, because it indicates that someone sustained their interest over distance and time rather than taking one picture and turning back.

All the expected areas are there — Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, Times Square — but there are interesting bits such as scenic ferries and bike routes that are not exactly obvious.

The project has been full of surprises, making me aware of streets, neighborhoods, and whole cities I knew nothing about before. The separate paths of thousands of individuals combine to give the appearance of a sketch. The red lines on the map (which show where a photographer traveled between photo sites at a speed between 7 and 19 miles per hour, based on the time stamps and locations of the pictures) that I had hoped would identify favorite bike routes turned out instead to reveal scenic ferries.

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