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What do people photograph when they visit Fort Mason, an army base-turned-cultural center on the San Francisco waterfront?
Instead of heading down with a clipboard to do interviews, UC-Berkeley researcher Alexander Dunkel analyzed data from Flickr. Using geotags, which relay the exact location of the photographer, he was able to place over 125,000 photos on a map of the area [PDF, below], with expanding colored disks indicating the popularity of a certain viewpoints.
… His findings, which won him an Honor Award at the American Society of Landscape Architects 2012 Student Awards, deliver a new, precise understanding of how people see what’s around them.