What if the city’s transit stops were renamed according to their most popular hashtags? Next stop: #cronut.

If you wanted to do a whirlwind trip of New York focusing only on gigantic tourist spots, a handy reference would be this map of subway stations renamed for their most-popular Instagram tags.

The "Tags and the City” transit system, made by Jug Cerovic, David Goldwich, and Tin Fischer, uses geotagged Instagram data from 2014 to reveal the social-media fixations of the time. (Instagram has since stopped providing this kind of superspecific geographic information.) Thus the MTA’s 116 Street–Columbia University stop becomes #ivyleague, the PATH train’s World Trade Center Station #neverforget, and Christopher Street–Sheridan Square #sexandthecity presumably for Sushi Samba (and please don’t ask, because I don’t know, if this was the Sushi Samba where Richard tried to “woo back Samantha after she discovers his wicked ways, but his efforts are all wet when Samantha throws a dirty Martini in his face.”).

The cartography crew behind the map writes on Reddit:

[W]e chose the hundred most popular stations (popular on Instagram). The stations got their name mainly automatically, but with a bit of editorial choice. We calculate the most significant hashtag which is used around each station (largest deviation from average frequency of respective hashtag across all stations), usually within 300 meters. But if this hashtag is just the station’s or the neighborhood’s name we went for the next one. When a hashtag referred to an event which is not repeated each year at the same place, we skipped it too. We only counted one photograph from each account and a hashtag had to have a minimum frequency of 100.

What surfaces over and over again in "Tags and the City” is humanity’s fascination with stuffing our faces (#redrooster, #cronut, #shakeshack, #halalguys) as well as time-honored TV shows and movies. The tag #seinfeld exists in Morningside Heights for the sitcom’s repeated scenes inside Tom’s Restaurant, for example, and #ghostbusters appears at Franklin Street because of the nearby fire station popularized in the spooky franchise.

The folks who put together this map have also created versions for San Francisco, London, and elsewhere; head to their site for zoomed-in details and to buy them as posters and pillows.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Two men plant a young tree in a lot in Detroit.
    Environment

    Why Detroit Residents Pushed Back Against Tree-Planting

    Detroiters were refusing city-sponsored “free trees.” A researcher found out the problem: She was the first person to ask them if they wanted them.

  2. A man carrying a young boy on his shoulders amid the fall foliage of New York's Central Park.
    Life

    Which U.S. Cities Have the Most Families With Kids?

    Spoiler alert: It’s simply not the case that families with kids have disappeared from urban America.

  3. Equity

    Hope You Aren't Counting on Getting a Tax Refund This Winter

    Millions of low-income households rely on the Earned Income Tax Credit to help them get through the winter. Too bad most IRS workers are furloughed.

  4. An fitness instructor leads a indoor running club.
    Life

    The Rise and Fall of New Year’s Fitness Resolutions, in 5 Charts

    The January gym spike is real, but it drops off just a few weeks later, according to data from location and fitness apps.

  5. A photo of President Donald Trump showing off U.S.-Mexico border wall prototypes in March 2018.
    Perspective

    Like Confederate Monuments, Trump’s Border Wall Is Really About Racism

    The president’s vision of a massive wall along the Mexican border is fundamentally about propaganda and oppression, not national security.