24 Hours of Geotagged Photos on Flickr

Posted to Maps  |  Nathan Yau

Daniel Catt from Flickr maps 24 hours worth of geotagged photos (about 64,000 of them) on this animated 3-D globe (below). The project was implemented in Processing, which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone, and we’ve seen this type of 3-D globe thing before. What’s cool here is that all the data came from the Flickr API:

All the data was pulled down (using Processing, of all things) via the API, and probably took around 12 minutes (when it’s behaving itself) as I was being a) gentle with the servers b) was getting it as JSON which takes a while for Processing to parse each page. And then written to a flat file.

I didn’t realize that public Flickr data was so accessible. Although, there wasn’t really any reason for me to think otherwise. Maybe it’s time to consider a little Flickr side project with some Modest Maps.

[via Waxy]


  • Thomas Greve Kristensen April 6, 2009 at 6:01 am

    Very nice. Here’s an interesting idea. Why not download a bunch of pictures with longitude latitude information, group them in discrete cells on the surface of the planet and extract the most common color found on those photos for each cell. The result would probably reflect the color of the sky or ground in that area. If you filter out blue, yo would most likely get an approximation of the true color of the ground. Applying the search term “landscape” would probably give an even better result.

  • Thomas, we explored your idea in our World’s Eyes visualizations that illustrates the georeferenced photos people visiting Spain leave behind them as evidences of contemporary tourism in the country.

  • Thomas Greve Kristensen April 6, 2009 at 11:32 am

    Ahhh I see. But your visualization shows the individual images hovering above the map. I was thinking about projecting the colors of the photos down onto the map. I think your framework could implement it fairly easy ;) I’m still quite impressed by your graphics, very nice!

  • Beautiful…would love to see some of the process to get this visualization done.

  • Thanks! The designer David Lu archived some of the process sketches.

  • Thanks!

  • Beautiful movie and great soundtrack, sadly ruined by playback from flikr. What was the soundtrack? Is it purchasable on iTMS or Amazon?

    There’s an interesting blue line that shows up on the US, looks to be from Ohio up into New York maybe. LIke someone was flying and taking pictures every few seconds or something It seems to develop while the US is on the back side of the globe… would be interesting to see that animation on a flat map instead of a spinning globe.

  • Music is by Funkylectro by Star Garden, using a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Creative Commons License. I think you can buy it from Magnatune; http://magnatune.com/artists/albums/stargarden-modern/

    I thought the same thing about the blue line showing up on the US, and I’ll probably do a flat map for that week when I get a few spare cycles.

    Oh and hello :)

  • *Music is Funkylectro by Star Garden, even!

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