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Flickr Photos Yield Tourist Trails

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collage of New York

Software uses photos uploaded to Flickr to track visits to a city's attractions.

Credit: Flickr

Yahoo! researchers have developed a tool that draws on the database of millions of Flickr photos to generate detailed itineraries of what tourist sites to visit and in what order. The tool extracted tourists' movements between attractions in five cities—Barcelona, London, New York, Paris, and San Francisco—using millions of photos uploaded to Flickr over three years. The Flickr data is used to fill the time available with visits to the most popular attractions and to determine the amount of time that should be spent at each.

A test of the system presented each participant with a Flickr-generated itinerary and one sourced from a professional tour operator. "Seventy percent said that ours were significantly or somewhat better," says Arizona State University's Munmun De Choudhury, who worked on the project with colleague's from Yahoo!'s research labs in Haifa, Israel, and New York.

The tool's Flickr dataset was derived from photos uploaded to Lonely Planet and Yahoo Travel, which contained geolocation data, user tags, and timestamps that revealed how much time was spent at each attraction.

From Technology Review
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Abstracts Copyright © 2010 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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