panoptICONS Utrecht 2010 by Helden (Thomas voor 't Hekke and Bas van Oerle)
I recently read that London leads the ranking of cities with more video surveillance cameras in the world, with more than 10,000 CCTV devices. In 2006 the BBC reported the existence of 4.2 millions of CCTV cameras in Britain—about one for every 14 people. And just a small part of them are controlled by the police, while the rest are privately owned by shops, banks, schools, etc. In addition to CCTV, our everyday life in constantly monitored by "dataveillance", when we use credit cards, mobile phone and loyalty card information, or when we navigate through internet. Cities, private yards, detached houses, all can be also observed just by using Google Earth. We definitely live in a surveillance society. But are we aware of it?
Many organizations and artists concerned by this issue have developed maps with information about urban surveillance. For example, the Institute for Applied Autonomy has created a web-based program with all the CCTV cameras in Manhattan that provides routes through the island avoiding the highest possible amount of cameras. In 2009, Vancouver Public Space Network (VPSN) organized a group of 50 volunteers who mapped 2000 security cameras in downtown Vancouver.
Back in London, Manu Luksch in the project “Mapping CCTV around Whitehall” located hundreds of cameras and their range in Central London.
"A map of the hundreds of cameras in the zone was made over two days of observation. the second part involved mapping the range of one of these cameras, no. 40 in Villiers street, by intercepting its signal as it was transmitted wirelessly without encryption. As passers-by entered the marked area covered by camera no. 40, they were alerted to the camera’s presence and handed a copy of the map of CCTV cameras in Whitehall". (Manu Luksch)
Further Reading: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/02_11_06_surveillance.pdf