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. Environment

    Let's All Swim in the Once-Filthy Canals of Paris

    Unlike many cities, the French capital has made good on its promise to re-open urban waterways to bathers. How did they do it?  

  2. Transportation

    5 Reasons to Be Wary of Elon Musk's Hyperloop

    High-speed vactrains might be the ticket for a Martian colony. As a practical transit investment for Earth, the technology has a long way to go.

  3. The Salk Institute, near San Diego
    Design

    This Is Your Brain on Architecture

    In her new book, Sarah Williams Goldhagen presents scientific evidence for why some buildings delight us and others—too many of them—disappoint.

  4. Cafe patrons sitting at outdoor tables beneath an awning
    Life

    In Berlin, This Coffee Shop Is a Microcosm of the Changing City

    The iconic Café Kranzler got a makeover. Now, the coffeehouse illustrates the schism in a city caught somewhere amid historic and hip.

  5. Life

    Say Goodbye to Spain's Glorious Three-Hour Lunch Break

    Catalonia plans to shorten work hours—but don’t call it the end of the siesta.