SF’s Exploratorium has launched a collaboartive art project called Cabspotting that tracks the movements of San Francisco taxis as they traverse the city, mapping their movemements.
This geo-spatial data is then mapped in real time onscreen and made available for others to manipulate and build their own visualisation projects using an open API.
The Exploratorium is involved in a multi-year project to explore alternate views of the Bay Area’s infrastructure. Entitled Invisible Dynamics, the project hopes to reveal radically surprising and inspiring views of the systems interconnecting the communities of the Bay. We are already familiar with the dominant street-map view of our city. This project will reveal other ways of seeing our environment, such as the view of the sewer infrastructure; the flow of water; the commercial activity of boats, trucks and planes; or the ecological activities of the marshes and wetlands surrounding the bay.
Cabspotting is designed as a living framework to use the activity of commercial cabs as a starting point to explore the economic, social, political and cultural issues that are revealed by the cab traces. Where do cabs go the most? Where do they never turn up? Cab Projects are vehicles for artists, writers, or researchers to explore these issues in the form of a small experiment, investigation or observation. These projects will be included on an ever-growing Cabspotting site to form a continually expanding view of the anthropological record created by this system.