Monday, October 13, 2014

Roll Your Own Meta-Data Photo Map

Flickr and Panoramaio data has been used in the past to create some truly beautiful heat maps visualizing the areas where people have taken the most photographs. It is always amazing to zoom in on these visualizations to see how maps of towns and cities can emerge simply from geo-tagged photo data.

There is now a new application which allows you to build up a map of a location yourself simply by using the tags in geo-tagged Flickr photos.

Darkways is a beautiful interactive map of the world visualizing the locations where photos submitted to Flickr were taken. Each geo-tagged photo uploaded to Flickr is represented on the map by a yellow dot.

The map provides a fascinating insight as to where people are taking photos around the world. Sightsmap is a similar heat map of the world - but based on the number of photographs submitted to Panoramio. This heat map is based solely on the number of available Panoramio photos for an area. The dark and the blue areas represent areas where fewer photos have been submitted, the red areas show where more photos have been taken and the yellow areas show the most photographed locations.

Darkways and Sightsmap both use the photo data to create static heat map overlays. Mapr from however is a new tool which allows you to dynamically load Flickr photo data by geographical tags. This allows you to create your own map of a location by loading more and more geolocated photos (using the photos' tags).

For example, the screenshot at the top of this page shows the photo map of San Francisco created from tags for 'Goldengate', Sanfrancisco', 'Marketst' and 'Treasureisland'. You can create a similar map for yourself, for anywhere in the world, simply by typing in your own geographical tags.

Creating you own maps in this way for your local area is a lot of fun, However you can also view some pre-prepared maps by selecting from the examples linked to on the Mapr home-page.

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