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.
A few months ago, I saw a photo of this statue on Flickr and was curious about it, since I hadn’t come across it before. Turns out it was on Mariaplaats, so not exactly out of the way. It’s just not a part of town that I visit that often, it seems. I wanted to go and see it myself, and finally went this past Sunday. It was a beautiful sunny morning, so G, Pippo and I headed out to find the statue. We ended up wandering through some areas I haven’t been before and I got to know some other areas a bit better. It was a good day for getting some interesting photos. Somehow I liked the inclusion of the gentleman sitting to the right. And it’s not a Dutch photo if there aren’t some bikes in the shot!
It’s time for another World Cup-related post! The Netherlands plays Cameroon today in the last of the group matches. We’re pretty much set to go through unless some drastic mathematical events take place. Still, I’m hoping for a good game and a clear win today. We’re one of the few nations that have consistently won. (In a side note, I’m glad that the US has made it through, but wish they hadn’t waited until almost literally the last minute!)
Albert Heijn, one of the major grocery store chains here, has been giving out little toys with every €15 purchase. The toys are known as Beesies and they come in orange, red, white, and blue, natuurlijk. We’ve ended up with quite a few, so I had some fun with them the other day. First up was the Beesie Bouquet above. I took one of my tins and arranged the Beesies with the orange ones on the outside and the red, white, and blue ones in the center. It currently sits in our front window and has caught the attention of a few passing children. Then I started playing around with a couple of them on their own. They tend to remind me of Beaker from The Muppets, with their often startled faces.
I also had a couple of them checking out our predictions for how the World Cup would go. A few predictions obviously shocked one of them, but the other was quite pleased with our predictions for the Netherlands.
There’s a group on Flickr devoted to photos of Beesies in all sorts of spots. It’s definitely worth checking out.