Here is an unconventional way to please the wanderlust in you and it’s completely free to use too. Say hello to Sightsmap , a crowdsourced online mapping website which turns the world map into a heat map depicting the most hip spots.
This heat map depicts the most popular places in a city — mainly tourist attractions — depending on the number of photographs clicked at that place.
If you’re new to a city or are travelling and wish to check out the hottest spots in the city, this website can prove to be useful.
The dark areas on the map have fewer photographs — indicating they’re relatively less popular — the red ones have more and yellow areas have the largest number of geotagged photographs.
The most popular photos — indicated by the red and yellow markers — also have Streetview, Wikipedia, Wikivoyage, Foursquare and Google Plus article links about the area.
The 15000 most popular places in the world also get Street level heat maps and are sorted by ‘the number of photos in an area of a size of a few square kilometres around the place center’.
The popularity ranking of these areas is calculated by combining the spot’s hotness alongwith popularity rankings from Wikipedia, Foursquare and real-time Google Places selection.
Users are also allowed to log in via their Facebook account to the website and create their own heat map, adding photographs that they clicked while travelling.
The public map is available for everyone without logging in and is created with the help of Panoramio photos of Google Maps.
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Although Panoramio is being retired and won’t be available post-November 2017, all the images will be transferred to a linked Google account.
The website might not be a popular mainstream resource for travellers but to give it some credibility in your eyes, it’s also used by National Geographic photographers to source locations in some projects.