I’m always interested in how photography gets used outside of photography circles. Sarah Williams’ and Minna Ninova’s maps of cultural “buzz,” based on geo-tagged photos in the Getty archive, scratch that itch well. Using Elizabeth Currid’s and Sarah Williams’ research data culled from thousands of photos, the maps show heatmaps of what might be considered culturally significant locales. Of course, high-profile media events (the Oscars, for instance) throw some skew into the data, making it difficult for still important but less publicized events to show on the map, but they work as a great illustration of the places where mainstream America casts its gaze. If the accuracy of the data could be controlled for, I’m sure a similarly-created map using flickr’s huge data set would be very interesting. The research paper, “The Geography of Buzz: Art, Culture and the Social Milieu in Los Angeles and New York,” is also available.
(via Lens Culture)