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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

The Urban Observatory: learning by comparison

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The Urban Observatory is a city comparison app that enables you to explore the living fabric of global cities by browsing a variety of themes while manipulating variables.

It describes itself as a “first–of–its kind virtual experience that takes advantage of GIS as an integrative platform by using information about urbanization in comparative form.” Several major international cities have already signed on to participate and you can already begin to compare cities in an interactive, side-by-side layout of maps with parameters including population demographics, climate, transportation, crime, public spaces and utility networks.

Major international cities like London, New York and Tokyo are the starting point, but developers intend on expanding this list as more cities contribute data to the platform.

In the meantime, how can Canadian cities use these resources to begin solving our own complex urban issues?

Urban Planet is a roundup of blogs from around the world dealing specifically with urban environments. For more stories from around the planet, check out Spacing on Facebook and Twitter.

Via GigaOM and Urban Observatory