Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Geotagging Manhattan

Earlier today Nikolaj Nyholm passed on the rumour that the lamp posts in Manhattan were being geotagged...
Start looking at all the light posts in the city, about 7-8 feet off the ground. Every single one has a barcode. Steve Bull clued me in to this on Wednesday night. He said a few weeks ago, he was walking along and ran into a few guys with a huge GPS unit and a 6-foot antenna. They were placing the bar codes and correlating them with their respective geocoords. He didn't know who they were or why there were doing it. - Dennis Crowley
It turns out it's down to the new accounting regulations that require cities to inventory virtually everything, including lamp posts, to keep their credit rating. Despite this you have to hope that they'll publish the data, but considering the "security concerns" that would doubtless be raised by that I guess they'll probably manage to avoid it. I'll be pleasantly surprised if this potentially interesting dataset makes it into the public domain.