An elephant path is a trail developed by erosion caused by people making their own shortcuts (a phenomena we love to observe). The Elephant Path application reveals unofficial routes and beaten tracks from the the thousantds of pieces of information inhabitants and visitors of a region share publicly online. It uses social navigationmechanisms that rely on the activity of groups of people to propose and suggest movements towards active places.

This provides a way to explore and discover a region through the shared experience of its inhabitants and visitors. Enjoy!

Rip it! Elephant Path as been developed using the numerous data access, information processing and visualization capabilities of the Impurevisual programming language. Impure also offers the possibility to easily embed the Elephant Path interface into your web site or copy the codeand the data into your own workspace to brew an improved version.

How does it work? The information is extracted from the content people generate on Wikipedia, Flickr and Geonames. For each region, Elephant Path lists Wikipedia entries and selects some of the monuments, parks, and other popular sites with a story. It consolidates the the Wikipedia entries with geographical coordinates via the Geonames API. Then, it uses the Flickr API to collect the information photographers share at these locations. Finally is applies our own network data analysis algorithms to filter the data, produce travel sequences and measure photogenic levels.

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