3D geospatial visualization of tourist density and flows

As part our Tracing the Visitor's Eye project, we developed geospatial 3D visualizations of the tourist density and flows on top of Google Earth. In our approach, we infer the physical presence of tourists from the digital footprints they disclose on the web. The dataset consists in the georeferenced photos publicly available in Flickr. People use this service to share and organize photos; an option allows to add them geographical references. Each time a photo is virtually linked to a physical location, the Flickr system assigns a longitude and latitude and retrieves the time of capture from the Exchangeable Image File Format (EXIF) metadata embedded in the photo. When the user provides the location of the photo, the zoom level of the map (from 8 for region/city level to the most precise 16 for street level) is recorded as an accuracy attribute, completing the spatio-temporal information.

In our exploratory analysis, we designed geovisualizations to reveal the tourist concentration and spatio-temporal flows. Our initial results provide insights on the density of tourists, the points of interests they visit as well as the most common trajectories they follow.

Download: Barcelona [640x480, 1280x720]

Tourist density and flows in Barcelona, Spain. The red areas reveal the amount of photos taken. The width of the lines show the amount of tourists moving from one attraction to another.

Download: Florence [640x480, 1280x720]

Tourist density in Florence, Italy. The red areas reveal the amount of photos taken.

by Fabien Girardin, Interactive Technologies Group, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
E: fabien dot girardin (at) upf dot edu
W: www.girardin.org/fabien/

Copyright © 2008, Fabien Girardin