New York City – Typically a list like this is an educated guess. But nope, not this time. Cornell University recently did a study using a super-computer with the Flickr online photography service. Putting them together, Cornell was able to calculate once and for all the most photographed places on Earth. New York, as it turns out, is the most photographed city. Below, you?ll find a list of its most photographed locations.
Arguably the most iconic building on Manhattan Island. Between 1931 and 1972, it was also the tallest building in the world. Today, since the destruction of the World Trade Center, it still stands as the tallest building in New York City. But that won?t last for long. The Empire State Building is scheduled to be usurped in 2013 when One World Trade Center is completed on the site of the former World Trade Center.
Small wonder why this location is photographed so much. It?s a site to behold. We?ve seen it many times in the movies and on countless New Years Eves. But there?s something about seeing Times Square in person. The lights the sounds, the quintessential ?New York-ness? of it all makes one feel as if they have to try to capture it on film. Times Square earned its name in 1904, when the New York Times moved its headquarters into the newly built Times Building. While some may point to Central Park as the pulsing heart of New York City, we point to Times Square. During the city?s darkest eras, Times Square has become one of the most seedy locations within the city and a symbol of its decline. During the golden years, however, such as the 1920?s and what we see now, Times Square is a beautiful, family friendly site.
Yep, Rockefeller Center, home to 30 Rock, the famous skating rink, numerous famous works of art… and that is probably why Rockefeller Center is so high on this list. There are just so many things to photograph! Radio City Music Hall is also located at the center. The centerpiece these days though is the GE Building at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, or as it is more colloquially known, 30 Rock. This building houses the headquarters of NBC as well as many of NBC?s most famous shows including Saturday Night Live, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, NBC news, MSNBC. Did we mention there?s also a TV show named after it?
Or, as it is more commonly known ?Grand Central Station?. And ?grand? it is. Going by the number of platforms, Grand Central Terminal is the largest train station in the world. Over half a million people pass through the terminal everyday. Suffice to say, the more people you have passing through a location, the more cameras you?re likely to have, and thus the most photographs. Grand Central Terminal is also home to 103 retail businesses, as well as numerous iconic clocks, statues, and various other points of interest throughout its exterior and interior.
Yep… you read that right. Nope, this isn?t a joke. The Apple in the Big Apple. That?s right… glance down this list. New York City?s Apple Store is the fifth most photographed location in the city. More photographs are taken of New York City?s Apple Store than of the Statue of Liberty. Now, don?t get your panties in a bunch… being photographed doesn?t necessarily equal support. One could easily argue that virtually everyone already knows what the Statue of Liberty looks like (so why photograph it to show friends back home?). The Apple Store, however, is nonetheless a site to behold, one of which most people aren?t aware of. So what is it? Simple… it?s a giant glass cube that glows at night. The cube is also virtually empty as most of the store is below ground.
When it comes to American roads and roundabouts, we flat-out just don?t have very many of them… at least compared to Europe. So when you do find a roundabout in the United States, it?s going to become a landmark. And thus, it?s going to be photographed, a lot. Columbus Circle was completed in 1905 and is believed to have been the point within New York City from which distances to and from the city were measured. At the center of the monument rises a 70 foot granite column, atop of which sits a marble statue of Christopher Columbus. Today, that column is surrounded by a beautiful array of fountains. Small wonder then why so many people take photographs as they pass through this iconic New York location.
Admittedly, it?s somewhat surprising to see Liberty Island all the way at the bottom of this list. Granted, that still means it?s the seventh most photographed location within New York City. Nonetheless, one wouldn?t be out of line for expecting the Statue of Liberty to be at least one of the top three most photographed locations. That said, let?s think about it for a minute. Liberty Island itself is the small island in New York Harbor that serves as home to the Statue of Liberty. From New York City proper, this means the statue is simply something you see out in the water. In other words, you take a photo of it, and you move on. Other locations on this list are either also social hubs, or the exact kind of place you?d expect the Flickr demographic to congregate.
Like we said, this list is based on the countless photographs uploaded to Flickr everyday. While this gives us a fairly accurate assessment, one must also consider that the results are going to skew towards younger photographers. That considered, we?d still agree it?s safe to say that as a whole, New York City is without doubt the most photographed city on Earth.