Visualizing Instagram: Tracing Cultural Visual Rhythms


  • Nadav Hochman University of Pittsburgh
  • Raz Schwartz Carnegie Mellon University



Data Visualization, Instagram, Cultural Analytics


Picture-taking has never been easier. We now use our phones to snap photos and instantly share them with friends, family and strangers all around the world. Consequently, we seek ways to visualize, analyze and discover concealed socio-cultural characteristics and trends in this ever-growing flow of visual information. How do we then trace global and local patterns from the analysis of visual planetary–scale data? What types of insights can we draw from the study of these massive visual materials? In this study we use Cultural Analytics visualization techniques for the study of approximately 550,000 images taken by users of the location-based social photo sharing application Instagram. By analyzing images from New York City and Tokyo, we offer a comparative visualization research that indicates differences in local color usage, cultural production rate, and varied hue’s intensities— all form a unique, local, ‘Visual Rhythm’: a framework for the analysis of location-based visual information flows.




How to Cite

Hochman, N., & Schwartz, R. (2021). Visualizing Instagram: Tracing Cultural Visual Rhythms. Proceedings of the International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media, 6(4), 6-9.