Lonely Planet Writer

This useful map highlights the best photo hotspots all around the world

A photographer and software developer has created a useful map that charts photo hotspots all around the world, making it easier than ever for travelling enthusiasts to capture that special shot.

A screenshot of the PhotoSpots map, highlighting popular places in Europe for photographs.
A screenshot of the PhotoSpots map, highlighting popular places in Europe for photographs. Image by PhotoSpots

The website is called PhotoSpots and was designed by 22-year-old Mike Wong from Zurich, Switzerland. It uses geotagging to create an interactive heat map that automatically pulls 10,000 images per day from the photo sharing site 500px, allowing users to browse images to see what different locations have to offer. ‘The idea for the project came to me when I was planning a road trip for this summer. I wanted to explore photogenic areas along the road, but gathering the information was a bit tedious. I had to check Google Maps for places, then go to 500px, Flickr and Instagram to see what photos other people took from that place and then decide if it looks interesting enough for me to put it on my list. That’s when I thought of creating my own map with all the data already included,’ Mike told Lonely Planet Travel News.

Photo Heat Map
Unsurprisingly, Iceland has proven to be a popular spot for photographers. Image by Gudjón Ottó Bjarnason

The website is powered by Google and enables users to filter through each month that the photographs were taken. A bar below the map displays thumbnail images of pictures photographed in the spots the users are browsing. Mike plans to update the site in time, introducing a filter for interest categories such as nature or cities to make the experience more customisable.

Venice has also proven to be a popular choice for photographers looking for that unforgettable shot.
Venice has also proven to be a popular choice for photographers looking for that unforgettable shot. Image by Iakov Kalinin/Shutterstock

‘The thing that surprised me the most was the distribution of photos. I don’t filter out any images, so it was interesting to see that the majority of recently uploaded photos on 500px were taken in Europe. 500px is a company based in Toronto, so you would expect them to have a large user base in North America. Maybe it’s a seasonal thing, with now being the high season for skiing in Europe, but it’s definitely an unexpected fact,’ Mike said. Popular destinations on the map include London, Frankfurt, Venice, Amsterdam and Iceland. Travellers looking for those perfect spots can try out the heat map at the PhotoSpots website.

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