Tuesday, April 20, 2021

EarthPorn - The Prettiest Places on Earth

EarthPorn is a forum on Reddit dedicated to beautiful images of natural landscapes. People across the world submit photographs of beautiful locations to the EarthPorn subreddit. Chris Linderman wonders whether it is possible to use the popularity of locations which have lots of photographs taken of them on EarthPorn (and other subreddits) to determine where 'beautiful' landscapes can be found around the globe. 

Chris's EarthPorn is an interactive map which visualizes where the most photographs have been submitted to four subreddits (EarthPorn, travel, CityPorn, and MostBeautiful). The brighter a hexagon appears on the map then the more photographs of that area have been submitted to Reddit. As Chris acknowledges himself because Reddit is primarily an English language forum the map might be biased towards locations where English is spoken.

EarthPorn may not be entirely accurate as a visualization of where the most beautiful places around the world can be found. However the EarthPorn map is a great way to search for beautiful photos of locations which have been posted to Reddit. Click on a hexagon on the map and you can view the top rated photographs posted to Reddit from that area. 

You can also explore popular locations with photographers around the whole world on the Geotaggers Atlas. The Geotaggers Atlas is a series of fascinating maps showing the paths taken by Flickr photographers between separate photographs, based on the time stamps and locations of the photos. Using the maps you can discover not only the most popular places photographed by Flickr users but the paths the photographers have taken around those cities.

For years Eric Fischer of Mapbox has been extracting location data from Flickr photos and mapping not just where those photos are taken but the routes that the photographers have taken between pictures. Using the Flickr search API Eric is able to retrieve photo geo-tags and draw lines between all the photos in a sequence.

The red lines on the map show where a photographer traveled at a speed between 7 and 19 mph, based on the time stamps and locations of the pictures. As you can see on the map (above) the river Seine stands out in Paris - perhaps as a result of ferry passengers happily traveling up & down the river snapping the sights of Paris.

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