You should also specify the terms of contributions and a license of the data.
People will be more encourage to contribute if they know that their free work is benefiting others, and not just the project owners. Looking at the code, there is an API route, it says that the data is not confidential, but that it's only for admin users because you don't want people hitting the service too much. In this case, I would suggest providing daily or weekly dumps of the data. (You could also benefit from seeing the growth over time).
So, provide the data, make the data open. Think about the license of the data. What's different from Google doing this? Why would anyone want to contribute to this project, and not say a project from Microsoft? Is having open source a differentiator? What benefit to the contributor does having the code as open source provide, if they cannot get the data. Differentiate your project and encourage actual crowdsourced contributions by specifying that it is open DATA and specify your terms for contributing.
Let's see what they say.
Edit: 39 minutes later (that was quite quick!):
> Whoops, good catch! That is absolutely not our intention, give me a bit and I’ll extend the license to cover GPS data for camera positions.
> We are considering closer integration with OpenStreetMap. We already use them for all of our map backend, but don’t currently store our camera data in OSM. There are some concerns about corrupting their data with non-existent cameras, particularly if someone scripts interacting with Where are the Eyes. While the data is under our control we can try to detect bots and roll back their changes, but we don’t want to be “rolling back” parts of OpenStreetMap.
> I definitely agree about adding the cameras from OSM to Where are the Eyes, and periodically copying the Where are the Eyes data to OSM, but I am less comfortable with completely integrating the two.
I won't go into detail about issues and solutions I see with either option, but they seem to be considering things carefully, and I guess that's not a bad thing.
And you should contribute the data back to the probably single most important open data project -- OpenStreetMap.
You can see the map of cameras here: http://nadzorovan.si/zemljevid (we targeted the capital city center for coverage).
Anyway the original hack was simple - you use your normal camera with geotagging enabled (and a sports app running in the background for better GPS coords) and take pictures of cameras. Activists than sent it to me, I ran it through a basic PHP script that resized the images, stripped the EXIF data and constructed a JSON that was displayed on a map.
We upgraded it to the current status - nadzorovan.si - a year later but due to time constraints have been unable to finish the mobile apps that simplify the image taking and upload experience and enables us to incorporate non-Pirate activists. The code will be open sourced (it kind of already is, it just isn't on github) and the dataset is entirely public.
We plan to restart the project in the spring. There are a whole host of issues with a project like this - if anyone's interested I can go into details.
I should note the project was very well received in the public.
There is no indication regarding who owns each camera, when it's recording (presumed always), if it has audio, the purpose of the camera and how long the data is retained. This project is awesome, and could be the first step to answering the above questions (and more) for each camera.
Do you mean large cities in certain countries, or everywhere in a particular country?
This is wrong. It is the most surveilled but most of the cameras are privately owned.
Large cities primarily: Istanbul, London, Belgrade, Prague are some examples.
I understand they have a purpose for genuine security incidents, such as terrorism attacks, but the lack of transparency in their day to day recording is a concern.
I've taken photos of many locations, I'll add them to the map.
Presumably they're installed primarily because of day-to-day crimes, not terrorism prevention.
The majority of cameras are privately owned, and are supposed to prevent normal crime.
In Denmark you can have quite a lot of cameras in shops and outside petrol stations, which is the business owners way to up their security. But those are NOT allowed to film anything facing away from the premises, meaning you can't just film people on the street from these cameras.
Recording that includes public spaces are subject to strict reporting requirements, and both those covering private and public spaces are subject to privacy rules regarding handling of the data, and subject access.
Whether that will remain the case once the UK leaves the EU is another matter..
One of the justifications is that it makes it easier to see stuff on CCTV.
Makes sense, but any idea how they verify this? Would someone report a camera they think is facing outwards and this would be investigated? Or are there random checks?
98% of street cameras are private, they're used to watch for store fronts, bins, cars parked on street etc. If you have one, you get much better insurance deal for your business.
Can we avoid these sweeping statements? They're at best useless, and often misleading, if not simply wrong.
The UK rules are here . Signs (or similar) identifying the operator of the CCTV cameras are required.
Transport for London (running the London Underground and London Buses, and some trains) is a government body, and has their sign here [1, PDF], which includes a phone number.
This is not the world I want to live in.
An urban river (or canal) is much more likely. I don't know if the statistics back up the perception, but these places are often considered unsafe at night -- poor lighting, not many people around, usually only two directions to run.
> Like you noticed it's not really clear who uses those cameras
I think you missed that parent was talking about "businesses and private people" using cameras and government wanting to have a register of camera ownership.
From my experience in Germany, surveillance cameras you see in public will be
1. in train stations: there are warning signs to notify you that you will be filmed
2. outside an apartment building, pointing at the door (to discourage burglars)
3. inside a store, pointing out the front window (burglars again)
4. on private property, surveilling said property (trespassers and burglars)
All of these uses are subject to regulation concerning how much public space can be filmed. There was a case of a murderer/rapist (can't remember exactly) being caught walking by a store's front camera. The police were happy to take the tip, but the storeowner was still fined for violating the regulations.