Thursday, August 26, 2021

The CCTV World Cup

China has beaten India 6-3 in the final of the CCTV World Cup. China has six cities in the top 10 list of cities with the highest density of CCTV cameras. India only has three cities in the top ten. London is the only city outside of Asia to make the top 10.

Surfshank's Surveillance Cities examines the density of surveillance cameras in cities around the world. By calculating the number of CCTV cameras per km2 in the world's 130 most populous cities Surveillance Cities is able to make direct comparisons between different global cities. The Surfshank article includes an interesting mapped visualization which allows you to directly compare the density of CCTV cameras in any two of the 130 cities. For example the screenshot above shows a comparison of the density of cameras in Los Angeles and London.

The methodology section of Surfshank's analysis of global surveillance cameras is very elusive about where the CCTV camera data actually comes from ('we gathered multiple sources'). I'm also guessing that their maps don't actually show the real locations of CCTV cameras but are randomized in each city based on the total number of CCTV cameras estimated for the city.

If you want to know the actual locations of CCTV cameras in your neighborhood then you can refer to Surveillance Under Surveillance instead. Surveillance under Surveillance is an interactive map which reveals the location of CCTV cameras around the world. Using the map you can find out where spy cameras are located, what type of cameras they are and what area they observe.

Surveillance under Surveillance seems to have reasonable coverage throughout the world. It uses OpenStreetMap data to show the location of CCTV cameras. This means that if the data isn't very accurate in your area then you can improve the map by adding the location of CCTV cameras to OpenStreetMap.

The map uses different colored icons to show the different types of CCTV cameras. Red icons indicate cameras in public spaces, blue icons indicate cameras located in outside areas and green icons show cameras which are observing an indoor area.

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