Real Time Rome
September 18, 2006 10:30 PM   Subscribe

Real Time Rome, the MIT SENSEable City Lab’s contribution to the 2006 Venice Biennale, aggregated data from cell phones, buses and taxis in Rome to better understand urban dynamics in real time. via information aesthetics
posted by signal (4 comments total)
On the one hand, very cool and innovative use of technology - but to what end? This really just shows phenomena about Rome (or any other city) that aren't too hard to deduce without anything as fancy as monitoring cellphone signals - people move towards certain areas in the morning and away from them in the evening, buses travel on big roads, and lots of people clog up the touristy bits. Apart from say particular events - a big concert in the piazza del popolo or something - I thought we already had a pretty good handle on these things. Maybe I'm missing the dramatic implications in this, but they don't do a great job of spelling it out apart from a means to understanding the present and anticipating the future of urban environments.
Still, it is very cool - I just wish we actually could access the real 'real time' data.
posted by Flashman at 1:18 AM on September 19, 2006

Cool! I'm a green dot!

Seriously, this is pretty neat. I wonder how (or if) they adjusted the data to account for people who have more than one cell phone. And some information on when the exhibit is coming here would be nice as well...
posted by romakimmy at 3:27 AM on September 19, 2006

It probably isn't going to be touring - it's an exhibit for the architecture Biennale in Venice, til mid-November.
posted by Flashman at 6:10 AM on September 19, 2006

This technology could easily make money if it was able to do different cities and parts of countrysides. Civil engineers and marketing/advertising folks would dump loads of cash for this info. And if it was real time, and not just an analysis, for sale, then you might be able to see stoplights that are smarter, in-car GPS travel-things giving better traffic AI, a more efficient bus and subway system, and of course, billboards that change based on the density of the highway traffic.
posted by cleverusername at 8:00 AM on September 19, 2006

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