Monday, 21 March 2011

A new look at the New Town

Charlotte Square Edinburgh

Edinburgh's New Town isn't so very new, and it is packed full of interesting buildings and history.  It would be reasonable to assume, as part of one of the most popular World Heritage Sites, this would be a major place of exploration by visitors. Yet according to this fascinating mapping by Eric Fischer (I first came across this last year when someone Twittered a link)

based on research of where photographs of various cities are taken and posted on Flickr and Picasa sites,  while locals take and post pics of the whole city, tourists rarely venture much beyond Princes Street.

As he says on his Flickr page:

Some people interpreted the Geotaggers' World Atlas maps to be maps of tourism. This set is an attempt to figure out if that is really true. Some cities (for example Las Vegas and Venice) do seem to be photographed almost entirely by tourists. Others seem to have many pictures taken in places that tourists don't visit.

(Click Detail to see the city names)
Blue points on the map are pictures taken by locals (people who have taken pictures in this city dated over a range of a month or more).

Red points are pictures taken by tourists (people who seem to be a local of a different city and who took pictures in this city for less than a month).

Yellow points are pictures where it can't be determined whether or not the photographer was a tourist (because they haven't taken pictures anywhere for over a month). They are probably tourists but might just not post many pictures at all.

The maps are ordered by the number of pictures taken by locals.

So armed with that information, Edinburgh World Heritage is intending to make a big push in promoting the New Town.

Athens of the North

Edinburgh World Heritage will launch a new learning campaign this spring based on the New Town

Mar 14, 2011
The campaign will explain how Edinburgh became known as the "Athens of the North", highlighting its classical architecture and everyday life in the New Town.

In contrast to the Royal Mile, the Georgian New Town is not as well known by visitors, as demonstrated in a recent project by digital cartographer Eric Fischer. Using photos uploaded to Flickr he has constructed maps showing where visitors and locals have taken pictures in a variety of cities around the world. His photo map of Edinburgh clearly shows that most tourists rarely venture further into the New Town than Princes Street.

However its architecture and streetscape is well preserved.  There are 1089 listed buildings in the New Town area, of which over 500 are category A listed. Combined with nearby attractions such as the Gallery of Modern Art, the Dean Gallery, the Botanical Gardens, and independent shops in places such as William Street, and St Stephen’s Street, the New Town offers a unique experience for the visitor.

A heritage trail will link key locations from Calton Hill to the Dean Village, Charlotte Square and Stockbridge. The trail will include neo-Greek buildings such as the Dugald Stewart monument, the Burns Monument, the Royal Scottish Academy and National Galleries of Scotland.

To support the trail there will be a programme of events, talks and guided walks. It is hoped that some of these will be hosted at the Burns Monument, recently restored as part of the Twelve Monuments Project, but not normally open to the public.

The EWH office at 5 Charlotte Square will also be opened for special events, where visitors will be able to learn about life in a Georgian New Town house.

Hopefully an eventually rewarding use of a piece of contemporary research, digital technology and the internet to help promote the past.

Eric Fischer has a huge collection of  interesting pictures and docs on his website; well worth exploring.

#Architecture #maps #transport #trams #roads #urbanism #planning #history

From the set Historic Maps & Planning Documents:


No comments:

Post a Comment