136 Maps Reveal Where Tourists & Locals Take Photos in Major Cities Across the Globe

How to tell the tourists in a city from the locals? Poten­tial­ly reli­able indi­ca­tors include the lan­guage they speak, the terms they use, the way they dress, the way they walk, and whether they’re stand­ing in the mid­dle of the side­walk squint­ing at a map. But few fac­tors draw the line between tourist and local more stark­ly than where they go and don’t go: no mat­ter the city, one will soon­er or lat­er hear talk of places locals know that tourists don’t, places locals don’t go because tourists do know about them, places tourists go when they want to act like locals, places locals go when they want to act like tourists, and so on.

In his project “Tourists and Locals,” Eric Fis­ch­er has found one way of quan­ti­fy­ing this great divide: where do the mem­bers of each group take the pho­tos they upload to the inter­net? You can view the results in 136 dif­fer­ent city maps or explore a whole world map, both of which use the same col­or cod­ing: “The red bits indi­cate pho­tos tak­en by tourists,” says Bril­liant Maps, “while the blue bits indi­cate pho­tos tak­en by locals and the yel­low bits might be either.”

Using “Map­Box and Twit­ter data from Gnip to cre­ate the maps,” Fis­ch­er defined locals as “those who tweet­ed from the same loca­tion for at least a month” and tourists as “those who were con­sid­ered local in anoth­er city but were tweet­ing in a dif­fer­ent loca­tion.”

Here, from the top of the post down, we have Fis­cher’s maps of Paris, Tokyo, Dublin, and San Fran­cis­co, all cities with vary­ing degrees of over­lap between the realm of the local and that of the tourist. Parisian attrac­tions like the Parc de Belleville and the Bassin de la Vil­lette show a rel­a­tive­ly healthy tourist-local bal­ance, where­as out­siders dom­i­nate in places like La Défense with its high­ly pho­tograph­able sky­scrap­ers, and of course the Lou­vre (to say noth­ing of the red-sat­u­rat­ed Ver­sailles, not pic­tured in this seg­ment of the map). Com­pare that with Tokyo, which of course has world-famous spots — the quaint­ly his­toric Asakusa, the sub­lime­ly urban Shibuya Cross­ing — but whose form does­n’t encour­age quite as strict a phys­i­cal sep­a­ra­tion of tourist and local.

The path a tourist takes through Dublin might over­lap a great deal with the one Leopold Bloom took on June 16, 1904, but less so with the paths an aver­age Dublin­er takes in the 2010s. The Irish cap­i­tal also offers a host of must-sees apart from the Ulysses tour — the Guin­ness Store­house, Trin­i­ty Col­lege’s Old Library, home of The Book of Kells— but vis­i­tors would do well to fol­low the exam­ple of Dublin’s locals and get a bit more dis­tance from the city cen­ter. They could do the same in San Fran­cis­co, a city of icon­ic tourist attrac­tions on which, before the tech boom, its very sur­vival seemed to depend. But do true trav­el­ers, as opposed to tourists, need this kind of data pro­cess­ing and infor­ma­tion design to know their time would be bet­ter spent some­where oth­er than Fish­er­man’s Wharf?

See 136 dif­fer­ent city maps here.

via Bril­liant Maps

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Take a Visu­al Jour­ney Through 181 Years of Street Pho­tog­ra­phy (1838–2019)

The Shift­ing Pow­er of the World’s Largest Cities Visu­al­ized Over 4,000 Years (2050 BC-2050 AD)

How Leonar­do da Vin­ci Drew an Accu­rate Satel­lite Map of an Ital­ian City (1502)

James Joyce’s Dublin Cap­tured in Vin­tage Pho­tos from 1897 to 1904

An Online Gallery of Over 900,000 Breath­tak­ing Pho­tos of His­toric New York City

A Won­der­ful Archive of His­toric Tran­sit Maps: Expres­sive Art Meets Pre­cise Graph­ic Design

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His projects include the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall, on Face­book, or on Insta­gram.

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