It's currently hotter in NYC than in Rio, and other cool urban data (video)

This new interactive tool juxtaposes maps of 16 global cities to compare population density, land use and more.

The Urban Observatory app

The Urban Observatory app

Psst: This is the most nifty tool we've found in a while for online procrastination purposes. The Urban Observatory (h/t Curbed) uses massive data sets to create maps of 16 cities across various themed categories, from poverty and population density to crime stats and current temps, on its interactive website. The metropolises include New York City, London, Mumbai and Tokyo.


While NYC-related statistics are always attention-grabbing, it's especially fascinating to be able to simultaneously compare urban info in real time. For example, you can pull maps of L.A. and Tokyo up side by side to compare their current traffic densities, which city has more green space, or their governments' spending per capita. We were surprised to learn that it's currently hotter right here in Gotham than in tropical Rio de Janeiro; then again, at least we're not in boiling Abu Dhabi, where it's almost 100 degrees.


Below, check out a video of Jack Dangermond, who founded mapping software company ESRI, and Richard Wurman (the creator of TED Conference) explaining the concept for the ingenious tool.



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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)

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