Comparing Digital Traces of Modern Travellers to Journeys of Two 18th-19th Century British Poets

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20 minutes
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topic modelinghistorical corporauser-generated contentdigital humanities
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The growth of interest in georeferenced media brings with it a wealth of possibilities for exploring digital media, and importantly, for advancing research concerned with domain driven research questions. In this paper, we compare previous work, which extracted and analysed the spatial traces of two 18th-19th century poets in the English Lake District with modern data digital traces in the form of Flickr images. We explore the semantics of the modern day data through use of Latent Dirichlet Allocation, and analyse the extent to which modern day tourism mimics (or indeed follows) the foundations laid by Samuel Coleridge and Thomas Gray. Our results show that tourists, just like the poets, describe mountain landscapes from below and visit popular locations commonly perceived as beautiful.
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University of Zurich
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