the world’s eyes·mit senseable city lab·mapping, data visualization·2008


A still image from the visualization. The ground has a memory of both photos taken and photographers' travels.

An exhibition video showcases compelling stories found in the data.

Process Sketches

An early study looks at the density of a year of data for a single city, Barcelona.

A subsequent study compares number of photos (yellow) to number of photographers (pink). Photographers' countries of origin are noted in the rectangular blocks at bottom. The map is zoomable and draggable; country counts are tied to the viewport.

A further iteration of the same tool, here solely looking at photographs taken in New York. As one zooms in, large circles unpack into smaller circles.

A time-based motion study looks at photographer travel patterns in elapsed time, at country and city zoom levels.

Another motion study looks at adding image content to the map, using 3 dimensions.


Cameraphone use has grown over the past decade; however, detailed data about mobile device use is confined to the walled gardens of telecommunications providers. In contrast, flickr makes the traces left behind by cameraphone users publicly available.

This project visualizes tourist dynamics in coastal Spain using flickr data. I designed and developed an internal research tool for finding patterns in the data, as well as a motion video (now exhibited at the design museum in barcelona) that tells stories found in the data, in a style consistent with the lab’s brand; the Senseable City Lab has exhibited select research projects in venues such as moma and Seed Magazine in recent years.