This is a blog post about a famous photograph by Brazilian photographer Tuca Vieira, but also about how emotion and imagery can often be much more powerful than ‘data’. I’m just posting it here as a round up of various tweets on the topic I have posted previously so that they have a more permanent place on the web. But first, here’s the photo. It was taken from a helicopter above São Paulo in 2004 as part of a newspaper piece on the 450th anniversary of the city. The favela of Paraisópolis is on the left, with the much more affluent area of Morumbi to the right.
|Tuca Vieira’s famous image|
The photo has been used to illustrate many different things, but usually it serves as an exemplar for urban inequality. I have used it to highlight how in spatial analysis near things are not always necessarily more alike (i.e. Tobler’s First Law of Geography doesn’t always hold) as well as to talk about inequalities. I wanted to use it in a new GIS book so I got in touch with Tuca and he agreed that we could use it (for a very reasonable fee). He also sent some of the other images he took from the helicopter that day, from slightly different angles. Very powerful stuff.
|My original tweet on this from 2016|
|The little street to the left separates the areas|
“this photo may make me achieve what should be the great goal of an artist: to provoke a reflection on the world and not on the work and its author”.
You can of course now see the scene in 3D in Google Earth, as shown, below. Nowhere near as interesting or as powerful as the original picture but still pretty useful.