Gorgeous Geotagged Maps Show How Locals And Tourists Take Different Pictures Around The World

by Rafi Schwartz

February 10, 2015
New York City (cropped) - image via (cc) flickr user walkingsf

Visiting a new city often presents a unique challenge: Should you stick mainly with obvious tourist spots, or do you venture off the beaten path and try for a local perspective? For many, the answer is somewhere in between. But just how different are the experiences of tourists and locals in any given city? That’s the question which seems to be at the heart of Eric Fischer’s “Locals and Tourists” project, which takes geotagged images and maps their location (but not the images themselves) in cities across the world, color coding them as either having been taken by tourists (red) or locals (blue).

The result is a beautifully layered look at how different groups experience the same metropolitan space:

Paris – image via (cc) flickr user walkingsf
Washington DC - image via (cc) flickr user walkingsf
Tokyo - image via (cc) flickr user walkingsf

On the “Locals and Tourists” album page, Fischer explains his methodology: 

Blue points on the map are pictures taken by locals (people who have taken pictures in this city dated over a range of a month or more).

Red points are pictures 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).

Yellow points are pictures where it can't be determined whether or not the photographer was a tourist (because they haven't taken pictures anywhere for over a month). They are probably tourists but might just not post many pictures at all.

All told there are over one hundred and thirty maps in the series, which started in 2010, and was last updated in 2013. As io9 points out, there’s also an interactive global map of Fischer’s work, which lets you scan and zoom into each city he’s plotted. Be warned, though: It’s surprisingly easy to lose hours exploring each city, and trying to figure out just what (unmarked) spot is attracting so many tourists, locals, or both.  

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Gorgeous Geotagged Maps Show How Locals And Tourists Take Different Pictures Around The World