Once the haven of Brooklyn hipsters and those of an artistic, bohemian bent, Instagram has now become one of the most important social networks of modern times. This week’s Weekly Web Highlight recognises this and as such, has chosen to feature an interesting project that offers a window into the world’s leading cities via images posted to Instagram.
This is Now uses the Instagram API to display real-time streams of images taken in cities such as London, Tokyo, New York and Las Vegas. Built by Australian creative developers Lexical Gap, the project aims to capture a city’s movement, providing a constantly updating visual story of a given location.
What makes exploration of This is Now particularly fascinating is the fact that overarching patterns emerge within the different cities. The Tokyo and Sydney feeds appear to be dominated with pictures of food, in New York it is images of the Manhattan skyline, and Las Vegas rather unsurprisingly features many images of scantily-clad, quite possibly intoxicated young ladies.
As with Instagram itself, This is Now does have its fair share of throwaway snapshots and photos of dubious quality. However, as a visual arts experience it is both enlightening and entertaining to see the fluid visual flow of a city from the people who are living in it.