My ongoing complaint is how people allow gadgets to replace thought. I have never complained about how computers can be used to gather, analyze and present geographic data. Technology can serve thought. Geographic information systems make possible fascinating, informative maps that would have been unthinkable in earlier times. (I do complain that the aesthetics are severely lacking in most GIS maps).
Here is a wonderful example of someone taking a ton of data that was just lying around out there and compiling a map that like most good maps can tell a million stories.
This was compiled from information about pictured locations and the homes of users who posted them, attached to images posted on Flickr. Clever work! It has gained jokey attention as a means for natives to avoid tourist infestations, but the comments on Flickr show there is plenty more to dig into here.
“It’s like Queens and the Bronx have never heard of Flickr! Unsurprisingly, though, Williamsburg and Park Slope are fairly Flickr-friendly.”
“It’s interesting that tourists seem mostly to go to Yankees games, not Mets games.”
I was especially tickled to see that someone placed this label on the map: “5 pointz and/or views of the skyline from the 7 train.” And look how tourists, well represented on the Brooklyn bridge, have yet to discover the Williamsburg Bridge.
My point is the value of prior knowledge. In order to be able to look at this unlabeled yet data rich map and instantly grasp nuggets like these, you have to know the city as only a map reader can. The nuggets are endless.
Some nuggets are a question. What’s up with College Point?