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Tourists vs Locals: Photography

The streets I walk

This photograph, created using the towering piles of data on Flickr, details merely two things. The red spots are areas where tourists take photos, and the blue spots are areas where locals take photos. However, it’s very easy to infer a few things about San Francisco from just this. For one, you immediately know where all of the tourist attractions are, and you can also tell where the locals know the real fun is.

The top part of the peninsula is heavy on things tourists think are fun, but the locals wouldn’t be caught dead doing. In the middle right is downtown, where locals work to keep tourists happy. On the bottom of the picture is where the locals go to let off steam and take pictures of themselves doing it.

When you travel, where do you go? Do you absorb the history of a new place by soaking in the red areas, or do you check the current action by delving into the blue? Do you feel at home in a mass of other like-minded people, or venturing into new areas that offer no description or guarantee?

Eric Fisher has created a whole series of these maps for dozens of cities around the world. Odds are your city is in there. These are a great tool to discover a new city from an entirely new perspective. Where do the locals really hang out? What areas will be too congested to walk? What area is most likely to be an amazing adventure with lots to see? Where do you want to be?

Now go there.

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