Nov 3, 2008

the shape of things

when enough data gets together, neat stuff happens. it's probably not precise enough to call it an emergent property of data en masse, but that's good enough for the moment.

in any case, flickr now has enough photographs tagged with nested geographic information (through yahoo's gazetteer WoeID service* and latlong coordinates) that place geometry can be inferred. to simplify: take all photos with the same WoeID and make an outline surrounding them.

this reminds me of ben fry's visualization of all the roads in the US -- drawn in space without underlying topography or imagery, the road aggregations reveal both physiographic and anthropogenic terrain all by themselves.

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