A real-time stream of every photo taken in five cities.

What does your city look like at this moment?

New photography website This Is Now tries to answer that question. The site posts a live feed of five different cities, comprised of all of the publicly-shared photos taken with Instagram. The site features New York, Sao Paulo, London, Sydney, and Tokyo. As photos are taken and shared, they pop up onto the screen, presenting a disconnected mosaic from dozens of different vantage points.

Relying on geo-tags, the site pulls in photos taken and shared publicly - even accidentally. Instagram's default setting makes all pictures public.

Some cities are more active than others. But in a short survey, pre-lunch New York and post-dinner Sao Paulo are the most photo-happy.

And, not surprisingly, some pictures are more interesting than others. There's a fair amount of self-portraits (some veering into the slightly risque), views of skylines, food and drinks, and lots and lots of pictures of people standing in front of stuff. Though this might not be the highest quality photography, the live nature of it and its dispersed anonymity create a unique picture.

According to this article from the Daily Mail, This Is Now's creators are hoping to expand to other cities soon. Now that Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei is using Instagram, could Tehran be next?

Images: This Is Now

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Downtown Roanoke is pictured.
    Life

    The Small Appalachian City That’s Thriving

    Roanoke, Virginia, has become what many cities of its size, geography, and history want to be. It started by bringing housing to a deserted downtown.

  2. Equity

    The Price Black Voters Paid to Defeat Roy Moore

    Black voters endured waves of voter suppression to help elect Doug Jones to the U.S. Senate, and it didn’t have to be that way.

  3. Maps

    When Maps Lie

    Tips from a geographer on how to avoid being fooled.

  4. Basel's new streetcar is pictured.
    Transportation

    Switzerland's Border-Busting Streetcar Rolls Into France and Germany

    A new extension makes it the world’s only tri-national tram system.

  5. A maglev train on a test track outside Tokyo. A scheme to build a line between Baltimore and Washington, D.C., has been in the works for years.
    Transportation

    The Battle of the Supertrains

    Promoters are touting two different multi-billion-dollar high-speed projects between Washington, D.C., and Baltimore. Is it a fantasy, or a game changer?