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Photo Hotspots: Scout Your Next Photography Location!

Techniques/ Tips

Photo Hotspots: Scout Your Next Photography Location!

Do you ever find yourself wondering what it would be like to photograph the architecture of southwest Russia or the scenery in central Brazil, but don’t have the luxury or the funds to venture there blind on a hopeful mission trip? Landscape photographer, travel addict, and outdoor enthusiast, Mike Wong, has created a website to aid photographers in locating new places to shoot based on photographs taken around the world.

The idea for the website, called Photo Hotspots, derived from Wong’s love of travel and hobby of scrolling through Google Maps for ideas on where to shoot next. One only needs to locate an area of interest on the map and look to the photo thumbnails to see what the photography is like in that area, filtered by season.

“The website consist of three parts,” Wong shared in a Reddit post announcing his work to the world, “A heatmap to show photography hotspots, a slider to filter photos by the month they were taken, and a thumbnail bar that displays some images of the currently visible part of the map.”

Most of the “heat” is concentrated around major city centers like New York and Japan. No surprise there, but if you zoom in on more remote areas, you can find small blurbs of activity in certain regions of Antarctica and even off the north coast of Greenland.

The map is powered by Google and pulls photo data from 500px API.

“I access the 500px API using a console command (from Symfony, PHP), that gets executed daily in a cronjob [sic],” Wong explains for his fellow software engineers in the comments on Reddit. “Creating the heatmap, photo thumbnails and filtering is done in JavaScript.”

The next time you pack up your bags and camera gear for a photography expedition, be sure to check out Photo Hotspots to see what areas are “hot!”