Q: How does this work?

A: Yellow Cab is one of a number of taxi companies which uses GPS technology to track the locations of their taxis as they drive around the city. Once every minute or so, each cab reports it's location to the central dispatch. As orders for pick ups come in over the phone, these addresses are automatically passed to drivers, depending on how close they are. This location data is usually discarded after being reported - but Yellow Cab has generously allowed us to capture this information over time, allowing the generation of the maps you see on this site. See the About page for more information.

Q: How are you addressing privacy concerns with this project?

A: Out of respect for the privacy of cab drivers and customers, no direct access to cab data with identifiable cab numbers is provided to the public or to our artists. The project emphasizes the analysis of aggregate data and data patterns, with most of this analysis happening on historic data and larger data patterns using scrambled cab numbers. Real-time information is limited to a small sample of random cabs. The display resolution is also limited to prevent tracking to and from individual addresses. We welcome comments and suggestions on how to restrict the system to a benevolent use of the data.

Q: I would like to create an artist's project – how do I do it?

A: You are welcome, and encouraged, to make your own interpretation or analysis of this data at any time and post it to your own website or blog. If you would like a link or a copy of your work included on this site, please contact the webmaster:

Q: I would like to create my own Cabspotting client – how do I do it?

A: Please contact: for the instructions on writing to our API and for the open source Flash example client.

Q: Do you have any good ideas for a project or client?

A: Why yes! Some suggestions are:

Brought to you by The Exploratorium, Yellow Cab, and Stamen Design