Which landmarks are searched for most by creatives? This list has some surprises

From the Eiffel Tower to the Statue of Liberty, some landmarks are instantly recognizable even for the infrequent traveler — but what landmarks are most often featured in creative works? That’s the question stock video and photography agency Storyblocks asked in a recent study. In sharing the results on October 22, the company said it  analyzed 60 million searches to determine the top 50 landmarks used in creative works.

New York City, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the U.S., took a majority of the top slots on the list, with the Statue of Liberty being the most-searched-for landmark. Times Square, Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Empire State Building ranked second, fourth, 11th and 12th, respectively.

“The best video productions have the ability to pull you into a specific place and time — and the instant recognition that comes with landmark footage gives producers the ability to set the scene in a matter of seconds,” said TJ Leonard, StoryBlocks CEO.

The Eiffel Tower was the third-most-searched landmark on the platform, while several other popular European landmarks made the list, including Big Ben. While man-made architecture and urban landmarks took the top five slots, Niagara Falls ranked sixth in the search results, joined by destinations like Yellowstone in ninth and Mount Everest in 18th.

California locations include the Golden Gate Bridge (seventh) and the Hollywood Sign (13th). The Storyblocks team was surprised to see how low on the list Washington D.C. landmarks ranked, with the U.S. capitol not popping up until the Pentagon, ranked 14th, followed by the Washington Monument (23), and Capitol Hill (30th). “While DC has a number of landmarks in the top 50, none of them were able to break into the top 10. This is made extra surprising because of New York and San Francisco landing four out of 10 of the top spots,” Leonard said.

While the most-searched locations can help instantly place viewers in a place, capturing a unique image or footage of a landmark that’s been featured in millions of creative works can be tough to do. “Find an interesting angle or a way to add some depth or your own creative flair to the shot,” Leonard says. “We’ve gotten a lot of ‘top view’ footage with our most recent content acquisition. These aerial shots with a direct view down, like … one of the Brooklyn Bridge are using tech to create dramatic shots that aren’t as common. There’s always going to be a new angle — you just need to find it.”

The full list includes the most searched for locations on StoryBlocks since the start of 2018.

  1. Statue of Liberty
  2. Times Square
  3. Eiffel Tower
  4. Central Park
  5. Big Ben
  6. Niagara Falls
  7. Golden Gate Bridge
  8. Taj Mahal
  9. Yellowstone
  10. Mecca
  11. Brooklyn Bridge
  12. Empire State Building
  13. Hollywood Sign
  14. Pentagon
  15. Burj Khalifa
  16. Kremlin
  17. Stonehenge
  18. Mount Everest
  19. London Eye
  20. Death Valley
  21. Colosseum
  22. Sydney Opera House
  23. Washington Monument
  24. Machu Picchu
  25. Great Wall of China
  26. Berlin Wall
  27. Tower Bridge
  28. Buckingham Palace
  29. Mount Rushmore
  30. Capitol Hill
  31. Monument Valley
  32. Notre Dame
  33. Mount Fuji
  34. Freedom Tower
  35. Acropolis
  36. CN Tower
  37. Wailing Wall
  38. Tokyo Tower
  39. Petra
  40. The White House
  41. Christ the Redeemer
  42. Kilimanjaro
  43. Alhambra
  44. Victoria Falls
  45. Versailles
  46. Angkor Wat
  47. Sagrada Familia
  48. Blue Lagoon
  49. Alcatraz
  50. Moulin Rouge
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