Amsterdam is an increasingly popular destination among tourists, it is expected that the number of tourists visiting the Dutch capital will be doubled in 2030, while tourism is already one of the main nuisances in the city according to residents. The spatial pressure on the inner city of Amsterdam will continue to be an issue and the municipality of Amsterdam is looking for ways to manage the tourist flows.
This study investigates the content on photos uploaded by tourists on the platform Flickr, in order to understand the patterns preferences and common patterns in tourism behavior. It explores the potential of photo data as a tool in landscape architecture research. By systematically analyzing the content on these photos, this research acquires knowledge that is of relevance for the use and interpretation of the public urban space.
Tourists perceive landscapes mainly through visual experience, which can be divided into three facets; basic form, spatial form and symbolic form. By analyzing photos based on several categories, one can conclude about the use and preferences of tourists in urban environments, which can be of help in understanding the engagement and experience of the physical surroundings they are in.
The outcomes of the visual content analysis serve as the basis for generating the design of a seductive route through the Oosterdok area in Amsterdam. An area that offers (potential) attractions but is still segregated from the adjacent central station. The design involves interventions to be added to the public urban space in order to provide easier access from the central station and better legibility throughout the whole area for tourism purposes.
The research shows the potential of photo data in landscape studies and is a small step towards a theory on seductive routes, orientation and accessibility for tourism in complex urban areas. Through observing, analysis and interpretation this study adds up to better understanding of tourism preferences in highly urbanized areas and illustrates the relevance and accuracy of photo data for spatial purposes.