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Los ojos del mundo (the world's eyes) [mit.edu] illustrates the photos people visiting Spain leave behind on Flickr as evidence of contemporary tourism in the country. Through data mining and visualization techniques, the project uncovers the evolution of the presence and flows of tourists. As photos pill up to reflect the intensity of the tourist activity, they uncover where tourists are, where they come from and what they are interested in capturing and sharing from their visit. The analysis and mapping of this data allows understanding the attractiveness of leisure cities and their points of interest. In contrast it also reveals the unphotographed regions of Spain still free from the tourist buzz.

You can watch the visualization in action in the movie below or at the project's visuals page.


Looks good, although I am a bit disturbed by the photos disappearing somewhere midway and the sudden "jumps". It could be interesting to juxtapose the photo information with some priors such as population density or traffic routes.

Mon 09 Mar 2009 at 9:26 PM

There is also a grid-like quality noticeable at times (eg, at 3:00 when there is a close-up). There are three other data elements that could be displayed by this excellent visualization.
1-speed of ascending photos could vary to represent some variable, such as frequency of photos from that location
2-size of photo, possibly representing the proportion of tourists visiting that area, thus giving us a sense of the denominator
3-color of the now-white border around each pic. Suggest coloring it based on time of day, so that one can easily tell daytime from nighttime from sunset pics, for example.

Tue 10 Mar 2009 at 1:59 AM

...illustrates the photos people visiting Spain "and Portugal"...

Tue 10 Mar 2009 at 2:19 AM

Interestingly, Portugal is never mentioned in their description. Put photos seem to have been tracked from there?

Tue 10 Mar 2009 at 3:28 PM

I'm sorry guys, but in these modern days I find it totally incomprehensible that people forget such basic notions of geography.

If "they" dont mention it is just because of "their" lack of knowledge. If "you" haven't notice it when you posted it... Well, it doesn't say good things about you, does it?

For future reference -> Lisbon (Wiki it, will ya?)

Thu 12 Mar 2009 at 3:15 AM

@Pedro: This is not about a lack of respect to Portugal, nor about a lack of geography knowledge. It is about basing my descriptions mainly on the project title and descriptions, and having overlooked the fact that 2 other countries (I have the strong impression even the south of France is also highlighted) were included by the visualization itself, either purposively or not.

Anyway, I am sorry for the confusion.

Thu 12 Mar 2009 at 6:13 PM

Amazing, such a clever way to display photos. Well done, I love the idea.

Sun 15 Mar 2009 at 2:18 AM
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