screenshot

What would you do if you had access to all available centralized data?

The increasingly data-driven nature of urban infrastructure makes it possible for so-called "smart cities" to monitor everything from public toilets to electromagnetic fields. With Watch_Dogs WeareData, an online companion to a video game set to release later this year, anyone with a laptop can now parse through the inner workings of London, Paris, and Berlin in various levels of detail and complexity.

In the video game version, which we wrote about last year, the city of Chicago depends on data from a central operating system to solve complex problems like traffic and crime, and the protagonist must choose to leverage that data either for good or evil. On the WeareData site, incredibly detailed real-world, real-time data are packed into interactive 3D maps, offering an impressively realistic view of just how much information smart cities already have at their fingertips.

In the graphic below, which shows the area around the Bank-Monument Tube stations in London, each red element represents a single traffic light. Clicking on one while visiting WeareData brings up a network of traffic lights nearby.

This screenshot pinpoints where CCTVs are installed in the Aldgate area of London.

The orange elements below depict  billboards near Boulevard Murat in Paris, and clicking on them reveals data on each advertisement's exposure.

You can click through all the interactive elements for the three cities here. What would you do with centralized data on any city? What would you do if you could tinker with it? The eerie sound effects on Watch_Dogs might favor sinister ideas, but that can be turned off.

(h/t Gizmodo)

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. The Presidio Terrace neighborhood
    POV

    The Problem of Progressive Cities and the Property Tax

    The news that a posh San Francisco street was sold for delinquent taxes exposes the deeper issue with America’s local revenue system.

  2. Times Square, 1970.
    Life

    The New York That Belonged to the City

    Hyper-gentrification turned renegade Manhattan into plasticine playground. Can the city find its soul again?

  3. POV

    Grenfell Was No Ordinary Accident

    The catastrophic fire that killed at least 80 in London was the inevitable byproduct of an ideology that vilified the poor.

  4. Snap Map is pictured on a phone.
    Maps

    Snapchat's Foray Into the Future of Maps

    The app’s newest feature combines two major trends in modern cartography: mapping life in real time, and mapping subjective, emotional information.

  5. Environment

    The Politics of the Dog Park

    Dogs are children for a growing number of Americans—and that’s putting new pressures on pup-friendly space.