New Urban Data Map to be unveiled at Esri User Conference

The Urban Observatory has mapped 50 cities to better understand city dynamics

A new Urban Data map will be unveiled at the Esri User Conference July 2014 and introduced in February 2015 at the newly renovated Smithsonian Castle in Washington D.C. by the Urban Observatory. The Urban Observatory is a collaboration aimed to serve as a big data telescope for urban planning by Esri and Richard Saul Wurman, founder of the Ted Conference series.

Currently there are two versions of the Urban Data Map. The prototype, which was produced in 2013, covered 10 cities. The new version will cover over 50 cities with more variables. Both editions will be put on display in the Smithsonian.

"Understanding the dynamics of cities grows more important every day. No two cities do maps to the same scale, using the same legend. Many think this has already been done. I've spent several years working on this proof-of-concept showing that it has not been done,” said Wurman. Any city that would like to participate is invited to submit its data in that format.

The version of the map to be installed at the Smithsonian is to be backed by cloud software and updated over time as cities and data points are added. The updated Web app version is available online at

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