Coming to a city near you ...

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Wow, 8 of the top 10 are all in China. I knew it would be a lot, but not that many. I wasn’t surprised to see London in there too…London pioneered CCTV surveillance in the 90s. But Atlanta!!! Nooooo.


San Francisco is in the top 50 along with San Diego, Boston and Washington, DC. Chicago’s also not far down the list, at #13, from Atlanta.

Atlanta never imagined…but then it does have a large minority population so the theory of surveillance of communities of color being more prevalent holds.

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Boston… not Nice! ugh

Years ago, a friend gave me a this collection of essays called The Atlas of Radical Cartography, and in it was a print map of all the surveillance cameras in Manhattan. The map was created by the Institute of Applied Autonomy in 2002.

IAA also had an website/art project called iSee which could help determine how to get from one point in the city to another by avoiding the least number of cameras on your path.

Here’s more information about - - but the writer of this page states " it is now impossible to travel in New York City without ending up on camera at some point, rendering iSee obsolete."

With that said, I’m surprised that NYC didn’t make the list.


Not surprised about China making 8/10 at all. I lived there in the early naughts (before a lot of this technology was ubiquitous), and I can only imagine the changes to infrastructure now, especially with the influx of wealth over the past decade.

I am only surprised that Urumqi wasn’t higher than it was!

Terrifying that a place where it’s impossible to not end up on camera in doesn’t even get a mention.

I remember being alarmed by the sheer amount of cameras out & about everywhere when I was in the UK in 2004. I wasn’t even based out of London, but rather Oxford. I remember one time walking through odd alleyways & behind buildings with a friend until I finally asked him, “Why are we going such a roundabout way to X” & he responded, “Avoiding cameras” while gesturing towards cameras all along the main streets. I felt incredibly naïve in that moment & it has always stuck with me.

I also found this particularly terrifying:

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