How many cameras are watching you? CommunityCam Denver wants to find out
Are you disturbed at the prevalence of video cameras that seem to be recording your every move? Or do you see such devices as enhancing safety, because they may dissuade predators from committing crimes in areas where they're present or help bring them to justice if they do so?
Big images below.
The folks with CommunityCam, a site just starting in Denver, are firmly in the latter camp -- and they're hoping that crowd-sourcing will help them map the location of most, if not all, outdoor cameras in the city.
"We conceived of CommunityCam at the end of last year," says founder Josh Daniels, whose main company, VideoSurveillance.com, is an online retailer of the very gadgets the new site catalogs. "We launched the project in Philadelphia, and subsequently went into other cities, including Portland, San Francisco and, in the past few weeks, Denver. And we're really excited about the coverage we've received so far. We've already mapped over 500 cameras in the Denver metro area."
Here's a CommunityCam screen capture of Colorado, with the latest number of cameras in the Denver area listed at 567:
Finally, here's a zoom-in of downtown Denver, with icons marking the locations for dozens of cameras, many just steps away from each other:
The current total hardly represents all the cameras in Denver metro. That's why CommunityCam features tools to let users add ones that have not yet been mapped -- and Daniels feels that the more complete the data is, the better.
"This information was not in the public domain before," he says. "The location of security cameras has never been mapped on such a large scale. And at this point, CommunityCam has got over 10,000 cameras mapped in the U.S. alone.
"The cameras can be both private or publicly owned," he adds. "They just have to be in the public domain -- have a public exposure. The CommunityCam initiatve isn't intended to map private cameras that are on the interior of a business, for example. We're more interested in the ones you see walking around downtown Denver or, really, any urban or suburban setting. The cameras are ubiquitous: They tend to be mounted in places that are not that obvious. But for someone like myself, who's been watching this development, they're pretty easy to see."
Is this a good thing? Daniels thinks so.
Continue for more about CommunityCam's launch in Denver.