In 1976, social psychologist Stanley Milgram asked his subjects to list places of interest in Paris. Milgram then aggregated the results, effectively creating an “attraction map” of Paris with landmark names appearing in a larger font according to the number of subjects who mentioned each.
This paper suggest that the same type of information and visualization be automatically derived from Flickr geotagged images and their associated tags. The idea is simple: By taking a photo, photographers essentially express their interest in a particular place. Individual pictures taken at a specific location act as “votes” in favor of that location’s interest, much like the explicit input of Milgram’s subjects. Further, additional information can be extracted from the tags attached to these photos on Flickr. Tags that frequently appear in images from a specific location but are otherwise rare suggest a topic unique to the location.
The figure above shows a tag map of central London, derived from Flickr’s geotagged photos.
via and inspired by kottke