The Best Thing I’ve Seen Today: SelfieCity

by rferron

“If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many is a selfie worth? That’s what SelfieCity wants to find out. A new project by data visualizationwunderkind in collaboration with Lev Manovich, Jay Chow, and Nadav Hochman, SelfieCity is an attempt to analyze the data of more than 3,000 self-portraits and, in doing so, extrapolate what a selfie is even meant to say in the first place.” (via FastCoDesign article: Russians Are Miserable And Brazilians Love To Smile: What Selfies Reveal About Cultural Stereotypes).  

In order to visualize what a city’s super-selfie would look like, Stefaner and his team needed to quantify their data. The team collected 656,000 Instagram photos from New York, Bangkok, Moscow, Sao Paolo, and Berlin taken between December 4 and December 12, 2013. Feeding these photos to workers hired through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk marketplace, they then identified which of these photos were selfies, and made best guesses as to the age and gender of the person who took them. Here are a few of the highlights: