01 October 2016 | 10 °C

Which Bits Of London Are Most Photographed?

Which Bits Of London Are Most Photographed?
Alex Kachkaev and Jo Wood, giCentre, City University London
London Photography Map
Pigment print, made 2014
This image maps the places, times and events people choose to make photographs in London. Here we see daytime and night time London superimposed, outdoors and indoors, parks and lakes, evening venues and sporting events. The attraction of the banks of the Thames and its major crossings for photography is made startlingly clear. The data was generated by forty thousand people in the city who, between them, uploaded over one million photographs to the Flickr photo sharing service. Each dot represents the location of a single photograph, identified either automatically via GPS devices built into the camera or smartphone, or added manually by the uploader. The colour of each dot represents the amount of light present in the scene, enabling us to distinguish likely daytime, outside photographs (yellow) from those taken either at night or indoors (purple). The result is a map of photogenic London, a shared image of images, of place and space, of the photographed and the photographer.
Alex Kachkaev and Jo Wood, giCentre, City University London
London Photography Map
Pigment print, made 2014
This image maps the places, times and events people choose to make photographs in London. Here we see daytime and night time London superimposed, outdoors and indoors, parks and lakes, evening venues and sporting events. The attraction of the banks of the Thames and its major crossings for photography is made startlingly clear. The data was generated by forty thousand people in the city who, between them, uploaded over one million photographs to the Flickr photo sharing service. Each dot represents the location of a single photograph, identified either automatically via GPS devices built into the camera or smartphone, or added manually by the uploader. The colour of each dot represents the amount of light present in the scene, enabling us to distinguish likely daytime, outside photographs (yellow) from those taken either at night or indoors (purple). The result is a map of photogenic London, a shared image of images, of place and space, of the photographed and the photographer.
Labelled highlights.
A close-up of central London. The Thames and bridges are particularly prominent.
A close-up of central London. The Thames and bridges are particularly prominent.
Docklands. Note the abundance of purple dots in North Greenwich - presumably photos from gigs inside the O2.
Docklands. Note the abundance of purple dots in North Greenwich - presumably photos from gigs inside the O2.
A close-up of north London, showing the prominence of Regent's Canal.
A close-up of north London, showing the prominence of Regent's Canal.

Looking like satellite images of the capital at night, the graphics above actually show the places that people take photographs in London. Alex Kachkaev and Jo Wood, of the giCentre at City University London, created the visualisation using over 1 million geolocated photographs on Flickr.

Shots in daylight are shown as yellow dots, while purple dots show photographs taken at night or indoors (i.e. lower light). Great clusters can be seen along the Thames and its bridges, but other waterways are also prominent. Note how the Regent's Canal and the Serpentine stand out more strongly than most of the city's roads. Over in North Greenwich, a patch of purple indicates the large number of shots taken at gigs at the O2. Nearby, the Thames cable car takes on an unaccustomed prominence, shown as a bright streak of daytime photography.

A high-resolution version of the image will greet visitors to the Bridge exhibition at Museum of London Docklands, which opens on 27 June. Londonist is proud to be Media Partner for this exhibition, which explores the bridges of the Thames through photographs, paintings and other works.

Last Updated 01 June 2016