Eric Fischer has posted a new series of visualisations ‘Locals and Tourists‘ depicting the location of photos taken in urban areas around the world. In this
series he attempts to distinguish between those 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) and those by locals (people who have taken pictures in this city dated over a range of a month or more). Intriguing.
I was struck by his ingenious re-use of the existing data to create new information. By exploring individuals posted pictures over time he was able to hypothesise as to whether they were visiting or residing in a particular area. This allowed for a means to compare the gaze of the two groups.
I immediately started to explore his map of Dublin to see if any patterns emerged and then to try and suggest explanations for them. There is a healthy and regular mix of photos by both groups in the central core, but immediately to the east is a large blue box of photos taken by locals. It appears to surround the new Aviva Lansdowne Stadium in Ballsbridge. On the northside there is a similar cluster of photographs by locals taken at the National Botanical Gardens. Interestingly around the Powerscrourt area to the south of the city are a cluster of photographs which cannot be distinguished as being from locals or tourists (yellow in colour). Fischer’s methodology of distinguishing between locals and tourists suggests that the people posting photos of Powerscourt revisit the area on an irregular basis or post pictures irregularly from only a select group of places. Interesting.
The most practical application of Locals versus tourists is to consider how a visitor might use these visualisations to find the hidden city known only to its inhabitants – to find those secret spots worthy of capture by locals, but seemingly missed in the tourist guides.
This set builds on his earlier work ‘The Geotaggers’ World Atlas‘ looking at from where the pictures were taken, whether from car, bicyle or when walking.