Mapping Out Geotagged Photos

Caitlin Dempsey


Erica Fischer, a photographer, has done their own analysis of geotagged maps on Flickr with The Geotaggers’ World Atlas.  Over fifty major cities are represented in this set.  

On top of OpenStreet base maps, Fischer used perl scripts to identify and plot the clusters of locations.  The lines show the direction the photographer moved after taking the photo and the colors indicate the likely mode of transportation; black is walking, red is bicycling, green is via vehicle.

Fischer also did some mapping that separates out which photos were taken by tourists and which photos were taken by locals.

A map of central London on top of a cream background.  The dark areas are where more photos of London have been geotagged.
The Geotaggers’ World Atlas #2: London. Map: Erica Fischer, 2010, CC BY-SA 2.0.

Heat map of “World Touristiness” based on geotagged photos

Ahti Heinla’s love of travel extended to creating a heat map of “World Touristiness” based on an analysis of uploaded photos on Panoramio.  Based on geotagged photos that were published to Flickr, a heat map was made to display the “touristiness” of the entire world.

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You can view the touristiness map in Google Maps or download the KML file from Heinla’s site.  Heinla also makes available the Python script used to create the overlay.

Yellow indicates high touristiness, red medium touristiness, and blue low touristiness. Map Ahti Heinla, CC BY 3.0


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About the author
Caitlin Dempsey
Caitlin Dempsey is the editor of Geography Realm and holds a master's degree in Geography from UCLA as well as a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from SJSU.