Walking down the street, that feeling swells up inside you -- the buildings, the restaurants, the parks, the people: THIS is New York.
Or maybe it’s San Francisco. Or Chicago. Or LA. Whatever your city of choice may be, you love it because it’s just got that je ne sais quoi, unlike any other.
But Sep Kamvar, of the Social Computing Group at the MIT Media Lab, thinks it could be so much more interesting than that. With his You Are Here project, he and his group are on a quest to bring out all those little pieces that come together to make each city what it is, by creating a total of 10,000 data visualization maps of cities across the U.S. By doing so, he hopes that urbanites might recognize the elements that they love, and the ones they don’t, to shape their towns into more efficient, happier, healthier, and greener places.
“Each map gives a different angle of what the city looks like,” Kamvar says. The group does this by collecting data from sources ranging from Google Maps to local police departments, and presenting it into compelling visuals -- which he hopes can expose the things that need to be fixed.