What insights can be garnered about a city by studying the images posted to social media from that city? Instacity seeks an anthropological snapshot of the cities represented—seen through the lens of Instagram. Reykjavik and Damascus, the two cities shown, are both national capitols but are otherwise a study in contrast. According to the 2015-2017 figures released in the 2018 World Happiness Report, Iceland ranks 4th and Syria 150th, out of 156 countries studied.
Consisting of 7744 images scraped from Instagram using the relevant location-id, each composition is constructed of equal size, half-inch square images arranged in an 88 x 88 grid. The resulting square, an aspect ratio that points to Instagram’s roots (all images on Instagram were originally square), is devoid of editorial intervention, except to remove videos and crop non-square images into squares.