Geotagging: The New Insta Craze?

Be a responsible traveller.

You cannot deny that the world is filled with absolutely stunning places. Even if we cannot afford to visit these far-flung destinations in person, each and every one of us are blessed to be able to see it online instead, and to remain informed about our beautiful planet.

It is a good thing to celebrate these places and make them known, to allow them to be protected for future generations and for the ecosystems that rely on them, but equally as important to acknowledge how certain affordances of technology can lead to more bad than good. Geotagging, or the adding of geographical identifying information to a photograph or piece of media, is a great way of letting others know exactly where to find the breath-taking view you have witnessed, but it can also lead to the degradation of the environment.

Ecotourism in the Amazon Rainforest has raised funds to educate and hire locals”

A recent Vox article explored the question ‘what happens when nature goes viral?’ using the example of Horseshoe Bend in Arizona. The area was once an out-of-the-way trail with stunning views that were a secret to locals, but now holds two car parks and is threatened by the erosion and litter created by tourists, who have flocked to the area thanks to geotagging on Instagram. This is not the only location which has suffered. Yet, tourism can be sometimes be a good thing. Ecotourism in the Amazon Rainforest has raised funds to educate and hire locals who provide tours which focus on the conservation and rejuvenation of the biosphere.

With this in mind, here are some of the most Instagrammable locations in the world — ten spots we should all be eager to protect.

1. Sri Lanka
Perched at the southern tip of India, Sri Lanka was recently named ‘Best in Travel’ by Lonely Planet, which is not surprising with its gorgeous national parks and sweeping coastlines. Read Miriam’s article to learn more about the beautiful island.

Sri Lanka Lonely Planet’s ‘Best in Travel’ 2019: But Why?

2. The Gold Coast
Located south of Brisbane, the coastal city of Gold Coast has some of the best white sand beaches in the world. The biggest draw for the area is surfing and the rainforest hinterland, but it is the beaches that have made it one of the most Instagrammable places in the world.

3. Aran Islands, Ireland
Ireland is known as the ‘Green Isle’ for a reason, but it is the Aran Islands, just off Ireland’s west coast, which provide the most dramatic and rugged views over the Atlantic Ocean that you can find. The three islands are isolated but accessible, with a collection of Bronze and Iron Age forts and 14th century castles to peruse.

“Its famous pink beach brings it plenty of attention”

4. Komodo, Indonesia
Komodo is just one of over 17,000 islands that comprise Indonesia, and is known as the habitat of the largest lizard on the planet, the Komodo dragon.  The island’s beautiful atolls mean it is a picture-perfect location, and its famous pink beach brings it plenty of attention. The beach, a mix of white sand and red coral fragments, is one of just a handful of pink beaches in the world.

5. Bavaria, Germany
Bavaria is in southern Germany, and boasts majestic mountainous regions peppered with castles that would not look out of place in a fairy tale. With a long history stretching back through the Roman Empire, Bavarian culture is known for its cuisine and architecture, and particularly Oktoberfest. It is a stunning area of the world, perfect for skiing, so check out Naina’s article on preparing for a ski holiday.

Ski Holiday 101: What do you actually need?

6. Madrid, Spain
Like Bavaria, Madrid is filled with architecturally pleasing sights that would be perfect to capture and put online. The capital of Spain, it is filled with winding 17th century streets and modern cafes and museums, all beneath the sun and blue sky. With cheap flights and great sights, Madrid is a beautiful city to visit and share with the world.

7. Milford Sound, New Zealand.
Rounding off this list of Instagrammable places is Milford Sound, a fjord on New Zealand’s South Island. It is easy to forget that fjords exist outside of Scandinavian countries, but Milford Sound is well-deserving of a spot on this list. With mountains soaring over 5,500 feet into the air from the water, there are waterfalls, bottlenose dolphins, whales, and more in this area of outstanding natural beauty.

“Be mindful of the impact of such actions”

It is important to visit these places, to support local economies, and witness the beauty of our world, but equally as so to be mindful of the impact of such actions. These are just some of the most Instagrammable places in the world for a reason, and we should all strive to keep them that way. Perhaps think twice when you want to geotag your favourite oasis.

Esme Johnson

Image credit: Joan Campderrós-i-Canas via Flickr

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