Posted on Monday, July 21st, 2014 by Will Hagle
The Urban Observatory is an interactive exhibit that gives you the chance to compare and contrast data from cities around the world.
The Urban Observatory is an interactive exhibit that will be on display at the Smithsonian Institution in 2015. The purpose of the exhibit is to display various types of data from cities around the world in the same location that individuals can use to compare and contrast. The exhibit was built in part by Esri, a company responsible for mapping and data visualization software, as well as Richard Saul Wurman and Radical Media.
The Urban Observatory’s site also has an accompanying app (as well as one that can be downloaded via a mobile device). The app gives a sneak preview of the functionality that the exhibit will have, allowing users to compare and contrast maps from several different cities around the world. Users can select from a variety of “themes,” such as Work, Movement, People, Public, and Systems. Each of these themes has several subcategories, such as “housing density” or “population density” under the People category. The app then allows users to place up to three global cities in side-by-side panels in order to more easily compare the data. The site is fun to play around with — and it likely will have more practical applications once the entire exhibit is built. As someone that spends far too much time on Reddit’s “mapporn” subreddit, this is an addicting app.