TOURIST OR LOCAL? Flickr Reveals Where Different Types Of People Take Pictures In Major Cities

NYC touristRed is for tourist pics; Blue is for locals

Photo: Eric Fischer on Flickr

Anyone who lives in a major tourist destination like New York and San Francisco knows that tourists mainly confine themselves to a few well-trodden streets, usually the same ones that locals avoid like the plague.Eric Fischer, a computer programmer from Oakland, California made some incredible data visualizations that prove it.  He took geo-tagged photos from Flickr and found an interesting way of sorting out the locals from the out-of-towners. 

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Fischer reasoned that Flickrers that only post photos from one place for less than one month are probably tourists, and the ones that post most of their content from one metropolitan area for more than one month are locals.

The spots with tourist photos are coloured red, and the places where the locals are taking photos are coloured blue. When it is unclear whether the photographer is a local (if they sporadically upload to Flickr, for instance) their photos are marked with yellow. 

Some places, like the Statue of Liberty and Alcatraz are like little islands of red.  Some cities are almost exclusively photographed by tourists, like Las Vegas and Istanbul.  If you are looking to target a tourist demographic, this could be useful.

Fischer mapped the activity of 135 different cities and put them all on Flickr.   Here are some of our favourites.

London -- Westminster is Tourist Ground Zero

Blue: Locals

Red: Tourists

Yellow: Probably Tourists

San Francisco -- Natives Apparently Eschew Alcatraz

Blue: Locals

Red: Tourists

Yellow: Probably Tourists

Paris -- Can You Pick Out The Arc D'Triomphe??

Blue: Locals

Red: Tourists

Yellow: Probably Tourists

Las Vegas -- Just Try Getting Directions On The Strip

Blue: Locals

Red: Tourists

Yellow: Probably Tourists

Seattle -- Nobody Seems To Venture Away From Downtown

Blue: Locals

Red: Tourists

Yellow: Probably Tourists

Rome -- You Can Actually Make Out the Shape Of Saint Peter's In Red

Blue: Locals

Red: Tourists

Yellow: Probably Tourists

Bangkok -- Khao San Road And The National Palace Are Tourist Meccas

Blue: Locals

Red: Tourists

Yellow: Probably Tourists

LA and Pasadena -- Sightseers Congregate Downtown

Blue: Locals

Red: Tourists

Yellow: Probably Tourists

Blue: Locals

Red: Tourists

Yellow: Probably Tourists

Athens -- Maybe They Can Charge For Taking Photos...

Blue: Locals

Red: Tourists

Yellow: Probably Tourists

Amsterdam -- Red Light District Appropriately coloured In This visualisation

Blue: Locals

Red: Tourists

Yellow: Probably Tourists

Washington DC -- The Strip of Red Is The National Mall

Blue: Locals

Red: Tourists

Yellow: Probably Tourists

Tokyo -- Visitors Flock to Shinjuku, Harajuku, Shibuya, and Akihabara, but Tokyoites Are Avid Shutterbugs

Blue: Locals

Red: Tourists

Yellow: Probably Tourists

Prague -- Too Pretty Not To Photograph

Blue: Locals

Red: Tourists

Yellow: Probably Tourists

Beijing -- The Forbidden City and Tiananmen Are Tourist Territory, Beijingers Seem To Like The CBD In The East

Blue: Locals

Red: Tourists

Yellow: Probably Tourists

Cairo and the Pyramids at Giza -- Maybe The Locals Are Just Using TwitPic

Blue: Locals

Red: Tourists

Yellow: Probably Tourists

Chicago -- The Touristy Protrusion Is Navy Pier

Blue: Locals

Red: Tourists

Yellow: Probably Tourists

Kyoto - Nearly Every Red Patch Is A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Blue: Locals

Red: Tourists

Yellow: Probably Tourists

Barcelona -- Red Spots For Every Gaudi Structure

Blue: Locals

Red: Tourists

Yellow: Probably Tourists

Miami -- The Beach Is the Main Attraction

Blue: Locals

Red: Tourists

Yellow: Probably Tourists

Boston -- Harvard Square Is The Red Spot In The West

Blue: Locals

Red: Tourists

Yellow: Probably Tourists

New Orleans -- The French Quarter Is Hard To Miss On This Map

Blue: Locals

Red: Tourists

Yellow: Probably Tourists

New York City -- The Locals Have The Outer Boroughs To Themselves

Blue: Locals

Red: Tourists

Yellow: Probably Tourists

But where do you really want to take pictures?

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