The power of data to visually explain cities is magnified when you put a pair of maps side-by-side. Cities across the world don't speak the same language. But comparative maps, like the ones above, can. This is the premise behind a new project unveiled this week at the Esri user conference, an online Urban Observatory that aspires to be a "live museum with a data pulse" about cities all over the planet.
The interactive tool, designed by geospatial firm Esri, the film company @radical.media, and TED creator Richard Saul Wurman, is built around an extensive comparative mapping tool that so far includes 16 cities.