I think this can be objectively answered, hopefully.

Apparently the most photographed building in the southern hemisphere is the Sydney Opera House. Makes sense, pretty popular, scenic location etc.

However, numerous results on google point to the Dunedin Train Station as being the second most photographed.

I was there years ago, and again this week. It's...a nice building, but it's nothing spectacular. Is there a reason I'm missing as to why it's second? Or is this just a story made up to try and make it more popular?

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    When I click the link this question is the #3 link on google!
    – Will
    Jan 18, 2016 at 8:26
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    Most photographed building in the Northern hemisphere see pretty random as well, so I wouldn't attach too much value to these reports.
    – Grzenio
    Jan 18, 2016 at 8:56
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    A possible explanation is that there are many visitors to New Zealand, but not many notable buildings to photograph. Compare that to, say, Paris, which might have several orders of magnitudes more tourists but also order of magnitudes more notable buildings. So a building that is just above average, in a place that is visited mostly for other reasons, has good chances to end up high in these lists. Just a thought.
    – UncleZeiv
    Jan 18, 2016 at 14:36
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    Based on rough estimates of a typical digital reflex camera averaging 5 FPS in continuous shooting mode and not accounting for wear we could average around 150 million photos per camera per year. Given enough DSLRs I could prove beyond reasonable doubt that [Location or Building of Your Choice] is the most photographed location in the world. My rates are very affordable and include a meaningless Guinnes World Record free of charge.
    – Lilienthal
    Jan 18, 2016 at 15:23
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    When I click the link, this question is #1!
    – cat
    Jan 18, 2016 at 22:29

2 Answers 2


This is the sort of waffle that marketing people are very good at generating. It is positive in all the right ways, and negative in all the right ways. It's clever.

  • Is it catchy? Yes.
  • Is it carefully modest? Yes. (Note that it's not the MOST photographed.)
  • Is it a slogan? Yes.

  • Is it possible to disprove? No/unlikely.

  • Are people likely to question it? No. (You're one of the odd ones.)

Compare this to many more formal slogans that are in use by large organizations - it follows many of the same rules.

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    "Most photographed lists" are often published by publicity seeking stock photography companies (example) based on their archives, or by publicity seeking universities who realise that some simple analysis of data from Flickr or similar can get their name in the papers (example). However, no amount of google trickery is finding me any such list with this station at that position Jan 18, 2016 at 10:10
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    A different example: I have seen Spain being described as the second most mountainous country in Europe, and I have no clue what that even means.
    – gerrit
    Jan 18, 2016 at 10:48
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    I'm wondering how one can measure the mountainousness of a country :) Jan 18, 2016 at 14:14
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    @RoflcoptrException I've added a question on Skeptics. The claim is even repeated on Wikipedia.
    – gerrit
    Jan 18, 2016 at 14:22
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    @RoflcoptrException obviously one uses a mountainousity meter
    – emory
    Jan 18, 2016 at 20:11

I am willing to contest the basic premise: despite several claims online, I won't accept that this train station is the second most photographed building in the southern hemisphere. That said, perhaps it depends on how you stretch the definition of 'building'.

Not exactly scientific, but hard numbers nonetheless, I searched Flickr for...

"machu picchu": 544,850 photos

"Sydney Opera House": 262,135 photos

"Dunedin": 213,135 photos

"cristo redentor": 52,291 photos

"brasilia congresso": 46,002 photos

"christ the redeemer": 25,810 photos

"sao paulo cathedral": 4,190 photos

"brasilia congress": 2,665 photos

"buenos aires pink house": 2,190 photos

"Dunedin train station": 2,151 photos

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    No doubt there are "zillions" of photographs uncounted and not even online. In other words, only God knows what is "most photographed."
    – WGroleau
    Jan 18, 2016 at 13:56
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    Of course. But I don't think there's a strong reason to assume that Flickr's numbers are incorrect in relative terms. Additionally, no one is able to count photos that are not, in some way, online, meaning these cannot be used for any claim, either way.
    – MastaBaba
    Jan 18, 2016 at 15:57
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    @WGroleau Statistics based on thousands of photos seem reasonably representative to me. Unless of course you can prove that having Dunedin train station photo is considered humiliating for Flickr users, so they would take a photo but won't post it online. Jan 18, 2016 at 16:18
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    But how many photos tagged Dunedin have the train station visible?
    – OrangeDog
    Jan 18, 2016 at 18:49
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    Several of the subjects you list aren't buildings. Perhaps more significantly, searching Flickr for "dunedin railway station" gives about 5,000 hits and "dunedin station" gives about 7,700. Jan 18, 2016 at 21:29

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