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Open data about Paris, London and Berlin; Fantastic datavis by Ubisoft; but no story!


Posted on Monday, July 1st 2013



Open data about Paris, London and Berlin; Fantastic datavis by Ubisoft; but no story!
Watch Dogs is a new video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal. Watch Dogs centers on the player's ability to hack into various electronic systems, either to get and control information or to destroy those devices completely at specific times. To promote the game, Ubisoft released an interactive tool that map open data from Berlin, London and Paris. You can visualize on a map, data sources coming from video cameras, WiFi hotspots, electronic sources, toilets, bicycles stations, metro, etc. You have access to statistical data about the district you visit virtually. And you can connect to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram to see content published from this location. Photos published in real time on Instagram are impressive, as the metro running in real time between stations.

Set in Chicago, where a central network of computers connects everyone and everything, Watch_Dogs explores the impact of technology within our society. Using the city as your weapon, you will embark on a personal mission to inflict your own brand of justice.
Chicago's overarching network is known as the Central Operating System (ctOS), and it controls almost all of the city's technology and information - including key data on all of the city's residents. You play as Aiden Pearce, a brilliant hacker and former thug, whose criminal past led to a violent family tragedy. While seeking justice for those events, you'll monitor and hack those around you by manipulating the ctOS from the palm of your hand. You'll access omnipresent security cameras, download personal information to locate a target, control traffic lights and public transportation to stop the enemy... and more.
”, explain Ubisoft.

The visualization tool is great, interactive, with sound and motion effects. But it shows the limit of gamification. It’s only a game anyway. No narration, no story, you are lost in the middle of data sources. It underlines the main antagonism in data storytelling space: narration versus interactivity. The most interactivity you give to the user, the less narration you can impose. And the most narration you add to your story, the less interactivity you can let to your readers.

You can play with this data game at: http://wearedata.watchdogs.com/s/Nfe4b1a392f3a


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