A series of fascinating, intricate maps by data artist Eric Fischer show where tourists take photos compared to locals in cities around the world.

Mr Fischer, who lives in California, worked for Google as a programmer up until recently and used his spare time to collect data for his numerous projects, reported City Labs.

The series of maps, titled "Locals and Tourists" use geotagged photos from photo sharing websites Flickr and Picasa to show where visitors and local take their photos in 124 cities around the world.

The cities are ranked by the number of photos taken in their central districts.


Certain colours refer to different groups of people - red is for tourists, blue is for locals and yellow is for images of unclear origin.

While monocentric cities - cities that have a single centre - like New York and Paris came out on top, Mr Fischer told City Labs some of the best visuals came from polycentric places like Taipei, which have several centres.

In Auckland the local photo activity appears to be centred south of the city, with clusters of tourist activity around the central city, waterfront and Mt Eden. There are also a lot of images of unclear origin.

The photo activity from locals in Wellington concentrates around the edges of the coast and in the city centre.

His map of Sydney shows tourist photo activity concentrated around the centre of the city, Bondi Beach and Manly, with a large representation of local photos taken south of the city.

Melbourne shows a similar pattern, with photo activity for tourists centred around the city and St Kilda.

"It's a simple concept, but revealing about where the edges are where people turn back and stop exploring," Mr Fischer said.

"What I think this really established was that each city has a few streets, areas of shore, or scenic outlooks that are core to its identity, and you can tell which they are by the places that people take pictures of over and over again."

- Daily Mail