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Welcome to astrodata


a data project that analyses the rise of astro-photography around the world...


Astrophotography used to be a strictly professional/ scientific endeavour. Over the last twenty years, amateur and ‘prosumer’ digital production of astrophotography has grown rapidly. This project analyses the wealth of data to understand what is happening in the astrophotographic field. 

All images in this dataset are taken from the Yahoo! Flickr 100M Creative Commons Dataset, a collection of 100 million images and videos with a creative commons license and hosted on Flickr’s XXX. There is a wide range of EXIF data and (often referred to as metadata) attached to the images.


Some photographers focus on our own galaxy (the milky way) whilst others aim for lunar shots and others still shoot deep space content. By analysing and visualising these images according to their data we can build up an understanding of collective astrophotography habits.

This project was driven by data and our interest with what the data could tell us, but it was also driven by another motivation: astrophotography is beautiful. We wanted our data-investigation and the visualisation that came from it to capture some of that beauty whilst ultimately taking full advantage of the value that data reveals.

This project was conceived in the Institute of Pure and Applied Mathematics at the University of California Los Angeles which hosted the NSF funded Cultural Analytics programme, and has been developed at Victoria University of Wellington and the Yale Lens Media Lab. The data for this project originates in the Yahoo! Flickr 100M Creative Commons Dataset.

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With the formalities out of the way we invite you to browse the website for astrophoto visualisations and information revealing our data analysis and conclusions. Don't miss the "tool" section to interact with the data yourself.

Project Creators

Dr Leon Gurevitch.

Leon Gurevitch is associate professor of Design at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

Dr Damon Crockett

Damon Crockett is research associate of the Lens Media Lab at Yale University, United States.

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