Leave it to Google to post a “heat map” of the most photographed places in the world. Data is from Google Maps Panoramio service which attaches geo-tags to locations in Google Maps and Earth. Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of these photos are snapshots of popular tourist destinations. There is still some interesting facts, though. New York city ranks as the number one most photographed spot on the planet followed by Rome and Barcelona in second and third place, respectively. My home town of Toronto ranks an impressive 29 compared to Bujumbura, Burundi, Africa, which ranks a distant 11,522.
I wasn’t surprised to see that none of my work was made in any of the popular places on Earth. This is because I don’t usually make photos in tourist traps, but it does bring me to another realization about where I find myself making my best images. In most cases my best shots have always been made just off the side of the road. In fact, one of my favourite images I made was taken with an old digital Nikon D70. I was travelling on Texada Island in British Columbia with my brother in-law who had to stop and take a pee. When I pulled over onto the shoulder, he got out, traversed the embankment to find an appropriate spot to go. He immediately called out to me to come and take a look. Just over the embankment was a huge swath of land that had been recently logged. Amongst the destruction of logged trees was thousands of white plastic caps protecting the new seedlings for the reforestation efforts. When people look at this image everyone assumes I traveled far and wide to get it!
The photos below were all made over the holidays this year and were all made within 20′ of my car parked off the road. In fact, sometimes when I take pictures I don’t even get out of my car to shoot and instead opt to roll down the window. Still, Google’s heat map is an interesting and entertaining way to explore the most and least photographed places in the world. Have a look to see what people are taking pictures of in your area and see where you might want to visit one day. Head over to the heat map by clicking here.