Judging cultural “buzz” by prevalance of photography

Cultural buzz locations in L.A. mapped by geo-tagged online photos - Maps by Sarah Williams and Minna Ninova, Spatial Information Design Lab, Columbia University

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)

One Response to “Judging cultural “buzz” by prevalance of photography”

  1. Locals and Tourists: flickr’s insight into photographic behavior | dvafoto

    […] statistical data about a host of cultural behaviors and norms. Previously, we wrote about using flickr’s geotagging as a measure of cultural buzz. Now, a new project called Locals and Tourists by Eric Fischer analyzes the differences between […]

Comments are closed.