Mapping Utrecht With Tourists and Locals

Locals and Tourists #50 (GTWA #145): Utrecht
(Map by Eric Fischer)

By now, you’ve probably come across self-proclaimed map geek Eric Fischer and his series of maps that explore everything from race to social media usage. Even if you don’t recognize his name, you may well recognize the maps themselves. Using data from sites such as Flickr and Twitter, as well as Census data, Fischer creates maps of individual cities so that the information creates patterns that are both new and recognizable.

His most popular series is Locals and Tourists, which was even included in a Museum of Modern Art exhibition in 2010. In the past, when I’d looked at some of the images, the list of cities was limited, although they do cover cities around the world. However, today I came across the full set and discovered that Utrecht was included! In this case, as you can see from the image above, he’s included the whole region of Utrecht, not just the city. In fact, the city is that small, colourful section on the bottom left. If you click through to see the large or original sizes and focus in on Utrecht, you can begin to easily recognize the inherent map of the city.

The red dots are photos taken by tourists, while the blue dots are taken by locals. I like to think I’ve contributed quite a few of those blue dots! Not surprisingly, the areas most heavily marked by the red tourist dots follow the path of the Oudegracht, with one of the other heavily marked tourist areas being the train station and convention center.

If you’d like to read more about Fischer, I found this article to be interesting and informative. I also recommend simply going through the various sets in his Flickr account.

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