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Subject:The 10 Best Places in North America
Time:02:20 pm
The news today is abuzz with reports that you can make maps from the metadata of geotagged photos. Good thing I already posted some very similar-looking maps so I don't feel like a copycat.

But before anyone beats me to it, let me declare what appear to be the 10 Best Places in North America, based on small-scale clustering of these same photos (combining Flickr and Picasa data sets). The premise is that people take pictures when they are engaged with their environment and feel happy, safe, and interested, and that the larger the contiguous extent of such areas, the better. (I am considering two photos to be contiguous if they were taken within 200 feet of each other, but not at exactly the same place, by different people.)


1. New York City
2. San Francisco




3. Washington, DC
4. Vancouver

5. Boston
6. Chicago

7. Toronto
8. Seattle

9. Las Vegas
10. Philadephia


Las Vegas is obviously the freak: it is a city of the automobile age ranking well against many much older places, and it has only two streets of any consequence, in contrast to the dense networks elsewhere. But I don't think this is necessarily a flaw in the methology, because those two streets are undeniably extremely popular places.

What do you think? If you know one of these places well, are the dots on the map reflective of where the interesting areas are? (In case it isn't obvious, you can click an image to get a larger version.)
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sine
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-04-27 11:48 pm (UTC)
interesting. some places realyl jump out at me -- seattle center, green lake, the arboretum, the university, things like that. others are a little harder to pin down -- there's one group that's right around the group health building on capitol hill, but i can't imagine why that spot. i'm going to get a lot of entertainment out of looking at this with c and will let you know if i find anything really weird.
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enf
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-04-27 11:52 pm (UTC)
Thanks for taking the close look at the map! I'll check some of the pictures themselves tonight and see if I can figure out what everybody was finding interesting there.
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enf
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-04-28 06:54 am (UTC)
The cluster by the Group Health building looks like it must be a neighborhood commercial area:

Rainbow Grocery
Victrola Coffee
North Hill Bakery
Canterbury Inn
Hopvine Pub
On 15th Video
Sonic Boom Records
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happyfunpaul
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Time:2009-04-28 01:58 am (UTC)
Fascinating! Thanks, Eric.

I was a little surprised at just how clustered the points are, or, more precisely, how many places get zero photos when not far away there a ton (e.g. Mass. Ave. in Boston).

Other than that, Boston and NYC were about what I'd expect. I couldn't tell for Chicago because I couldn't really see the fine detail. As for the other cities, I don't know them well enough to say.

[Forgot to add:] Reason for this icon = Because Fenway Park is so densely represented it's BLACK. :-)


Edited at 2009-04-28 01:59 am (UTC)
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enf
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-04-28 02:27 am (UTC)
There is a little bit of fitering for contrast... i can replot without filtering and see if it looks less surprising to you.
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enf
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-04-28 06:25 am (UTC)
The full Boston map, without any filtering for minimum cluster size:



Does it look closer to what you were expecting?
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happyfunpaul
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-04-28 04:39 pm (UTC)
Yes, it does. Still nifty, though!
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