When we think of the New York City locations where tourist would take pictures, we’d put the Empire State Building, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, or possibly Central Park, in the No. 1 spot. What we would not guess would make the top of the list, however, is the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue. But we’d be wrong.
According to researcher Eric Fischer, who created a heat map using the geotags of millions of photos of New York that are publicly available on Flickr, the iconic glass cube Apple Store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan is the most-photographed location in the Big Apple. In other words, more people take pictures of a retail store than any of the long-standing cultural and historical locations in the entire city. Mind = blown.
Other popular spots include many of the obvious characters, like Rockefeller Center (2), Columbus Circle (3) and, of course, Times Square (4).
Fischer didn’t just plot out the most-photographed locations; according to InfoAppleStore.com, he also looked at the date and time the pictures were taken to estimate whether they were shot by a tourist or a local. Photos snapped by visitors to the city appear in red, while blue denotes pictures taken by locals. Not surprisingly, tourists tend to stick to a few main areas, whereas New Yorkers are shooting pictures all over the place.
One factor not clear in Fischer’s study is the bias of Flickr users, which may play a significant role in why the Apple Store made it to the top of the list. As we reported last month, the iPhone 4 was on track to be the most-used “camera” on the photo-sharing site. Today, the Apple smartphone has finally achieved Flickr supremacy, coming in neck-and-neck with the Nikon D90. Without a look at the hard data, we can only speculate that the iPhone-Apple Store relationship skewed the outcome. But it wouldn’t surprise us. Then again, we have been fooled before…
New York isn’t the only city for which Fischer created these sweet maps. Check out his entire collection (which he’s posted to Flickr, of course), here.