ShotHotspot: An Intelligent Search Engine that Finds Great Photo Locations for You


Once you’ve lived somewhere long enough, it’s easy to fall into a photographic rut. We’re not talking about a running low on creativity (read this if you’re dealing with creative burnout), we’re talking about running low on places to shoot.

Photographer Darren Johnson ran into this problem, and was frustrated at the amount of work he had to put in to track down new photography locations online. That’s why he created ShotHotspot: a new website that intelligently uses sites like Flickr and Panoramio to find and rank photo hotspots in your area.

Visitors to the site have the opportunity to either add a new spot, search for a hotspot, like a hotspot, or “enrich” a hotspot by editing it or adding in their own photos. The search engine scours sites like Flickr and Panoramio for photos geotagged near the location specified, and then arranges the results based on likes and comments — thereby ensuring that the site gets more accurate with age.


Additionally, if you’re looking for a more specific type of location, ShotHotspot’s advanced search capability allows you to pick up to three of fifteen hotspot types, add in keywords and balance your results between accuracy and exact location.

Out of curiosity, I ran my own town of Birmingham, AL, which usually yields almost no results on specialized photography websites (it’s not exactly New York). I was pleasantly surprised to find that ShotHotspot identified 46 “potential photo locations” for my exploring pleasure:


Of course, not all of the results may be worthy, but clicking on each will bring up the Flickr or Panoramio results that got it to the top of the list, so you can see what you’re in for before you waste the gas. With Flickr on the upswing, and the site designed to get more and more accurate as time goes on, it could become a go-to when you’ve run out of ideas.

To learn more about ShotHotspot, or maybe add or discover some new spots in your own town, head over to the website by clicking here.

  • ConsciousConsumer

    …or just go to Panoramio and look for yourself… ;-)

  • int

    I would say this is a great search engine for places not to shoot unless you want usual tourist photos.

  • zed

    Fail. Looks like a regular search engine by location tags. I searched my city and got photos of cats and water droplet macros. I live in Amsterdam, it’s not THAT borring here.

  • Mantis

    Haters are gonna hate I guess.

    I’ve been playing around with it and think this is actually pretty cool. Especially if you’re in a new town and looking to learn the area.

  • A.J.

    What’s wrong with that exactly?
    This is a just a map of locally interesting and iconic locations.

    Unless you’re that guy who does stuff like going all the way to Paris and refuses to shoot a photo of the Eiffel Tower just because you think it’s cliche or something.

  • AutomaticPython

    MY SHOOT LOCATIONS ARE SECRET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • InkaKola

    This is very nice! I had this idea where I could pull images from many places and overlay in a map. The GUI is great. I wish though, that more images had the geolocations info so we can get more image. I’ll bookmark it.