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Locals and Tourists: San Francisco by Eric Fischer

Locals and Tourists: San Francisco, 2013

Eric Fischer

Radiating strands of spidery red and yellow lines form the top of this image. The red color bleeds below into a map-like purple-blue grid. Data artist Fischer made this composition by gathering geotagged data showing where in San Francisco tourists and locals took photos. Blue points on the map are pictures taken by locals; red points are pictures taken by tourists. The Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and Union square are all highlighted as tourist hotspots.

If we interpret the act of taking a photograph and uploading it as assigning significance to a place, the maps take on new meaning. Through this lens, they show how the same places within a city have different meaning to locals and tourists. Tourists are more likely to document popular landmarks, while locals’ images point to insiders’ knowledge of more obscure places.

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