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Los ojos del mundo (the world's eyes) illustrates the photos people visiting Spain leave behind them as evidences of contemporary tourism in the country.

One of the most impressive urban facelifts in recent years is that of Spain. The country's tourism - which used to rely on its beaches and was showing signs of saturation with its leisure cities developed with lack of history, taste and culture and a total ignorance of ecological responsibility. In the 1990s it went through an intense revamp to overtake the United States of America as the second most visited country. For instance, Barcelona transformed its old town, invested heavily in infrastructure and developed a whole new city on the wave of the Olympics, attracting millions of tourists that continue to flock to Barcelona's busy streets. However this tourism is hardly quantifiable because tourists leave minimal tangible traces of their stay. In consequence, what do they see, what do they enjoy, where do they travel to/from are questions are some of the questions that are still hard to answer by citizens and local authorities.

Los ojos del mundo provides insights to these question from the digital photos publically shared on the web by people visiting Spain. Through data mining and visualization techniques, it uncovers the evolutions of the presence and flows of tourists. As photos pill up to reflect the intensity of the tourist activity, they uncover where tourists are, where they come from and what they are interested in capturing and sharing from their visit. The analysis and mapping of this data allows understanding the attractiveness of leisure cities and their points of interest. In contrast it also reveals the unphotographed regions of Spain still free from the tourist buzz.

Carlo Ratti - lab director
Assaf Bidermann - associate director
Fabien Girardin - project leader
David Lu - visual designer
Andrea Vaccari - data mining

Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Ernesto Arroyo - interaction designer

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It is duly credited as a project by the MIT Senseable City Lab.
PDF copy of the publication is sent to senseable-press@mit.edu

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