Makers of the Urban Observatory interactive exhibit, a project to demonstrate how large amounts of data could be turned into useful information, will unveil the next version of the initiative in San Diego next week.
The exhibit underwent an overhaul by inputting data from close to 60 cities this year from the 10 metropolitan areas featured during its launch year, Esri said Tuesday.
“We are several iterations into developing a common language for mapping urbanization,“ said Richard Saul Wurman, who created the project in 2013 with Radical Media and Esri.
“It will allow cities to understand not only the major threads of their performance, land use and contents comparatively, but (also,) eventually, the nuance of change and action,” he added.
The exhibit, which will go on permanent display at the Smithsonian Institution early next year, has an online app for users to compare maps of the world's cities in various themes and categories.
That app features criteria from predominant occupations and population, housing and youth density to flood zones and images taken from the International Space Station.
“Now is the time for us to learn from each other and to understand this extraordinary and rapidly expanding globe of cities relative to one another,” Wurman said.
“It is key that these cities speak the same visual language. We can take the big data of these cities“”the numbers that have to do with population, health and wellbeing, education, work, crime, money“”and understand each other,“ he added.