Monday, November 29, 2010

Who's Picturing DC?

Welcome back from what was hopefully a relaxing weekend of eating, sleeping and...well, I think Jim Gaffigan put it best:

Thanksgiving. It’s like we didn’t even try to come up with a tradition. The tradition is, we overeat. “Hey, how about at Thanksgiving we just eat a lot?” “We do that every day!” “Oh. What if we eat a lot with people that annoy the hell out of us?”

(Just kidding, mom.)

Before we dive back into the fun and lunacy that is local neighborhood politics stuff, I thought I'd share something lighter and, to me at least, interesting in that wastes-a-lot-of-my-time-at-work kind of way. If you don't know who Eric Fischer is, he's the guy that does all of those colorful maps of cities around the world that show things like demographic data, transit usage and so on. (If you missed his series on race and ethnicity, go immediately and check it out.)

Because I am a nerd at heart, I found myself perusing Eric's Flickr photostream recently and came across a series entitled "The Geotaggers World Atlas," where he took data derived from images on Flickr and Picasa and mapped them to show where it was in each city that people take photos. But then he took it a step further and categorized each image based on whether they were taken by a tourist (red dot) local (blue dot) are undetermined (yellow dot). In addition to showing which cities get photographed the most (DC checks in at #8, ahead of Rome but behind Boston; #s 1-3 are NYC, London and Paris), it provides some insight into what sections of cities tourists go (and take pictures), and where they don't.

I'm struggling to find a great amount of "real life" applicability here, but I'll be damned if these aren't tremendously fascinating.


MDX said...

So I didn't actually read the post before I looked at the "picture". I instantly thought it was a really cool painting that looked "like" DC.

Do you have a way of getting in touch with Eric? Does he actually sell these? I looked at the other ones and they look pretty cool.

Matt said...

Based on the plots, it kind of looks like a sideways cross.