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'Watch Dogs' web app turns real data into a virtual surveillance state


It seems like there's even more truth to developer Ubisoft's ode-to-hackers, Watch Dogs, than we first thought. Like we've previously reported, the game's depiction of a smart city that connects drawbridges, traffic lights and its population's smartphones (among other things) all to a single operating system is closer to fact than science-fiction, but the game studio has taken the notion one step further. With the We Are Data web app, you can wade through maps of publicly available geo-location information like tweets, Foursquare check-ins and even traffic light and CCTV camera placement -- all stuff you can find in the game's Chicago. As of now, you can only live out your Aiden Pearce fantasies with info from neighborhoods in London, Berlin and Paris, but there's quite a bit to click on should you be so inclined. The available datasets aren't nearly as extensive as, say, something like Urban Observatory's, but it's pretty neat nonetheless. If searching for public restroom-locations from your desk isn't quite your cup of tea, you could always leave the browser tab open in the background -- its ambient city sounds are oddly calming.

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