Monitor real-world cities from your bedroom with Watch Dogs’ WeareData site

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Watch Dogs is now out; here’s our Watch Dogs review.

We’ve been eyeing Ubisoft’s WeareData site since it first appeared on Monday alongside a reference to today’s date. Sure enough, it’s come alive right on cue as a sort of Google Maps for fugitives.

Faced with a choice of three European cities, I plumped for London in the vain hope I might recognise bits of it. I didn’t – instead I was met by the most sinister possible reimagining of Eastenders’ opening credits. Ubisoft! Explain yourself.

“Watch_Dogs WeareData gathers available geolocated data in a non-exhaustive way,” say the publisher. “We only display the information for which we have been given the authorization by the sources. Yet, it is already a huge amount of data. You may even watch what other users are looking at on the website through Facebook connect.”

I spent a few minutes this morning absently chasing the trains as they drifted under the river in real-time and emerged in Southwark among clusters of traffic lights and blinking mobile phone icons. And then watching the Watch Dogs, via Foursquare, Twitter and Facebook. Alan Moore would (possibly not) approve.

Very impressive and utterly terrifying, as was clearly intended. Alright Ubi, you’ve captured your zeitgeist. If you could just make a really good open-world game out of it, it’d be much appreciated.