Venice will spy on TELEPHONE CALLS from tourists and use sensors in the city to analyze their movements, so that visitors can be ‘led away’ from busy places
- Network of 34 sensors to detect whether children or adults are passing
- They also intercept data from mobile phones used in the area
- Will tell the authorities how long someone has stayed and where they come from
Venice has begun counting the number of visitors to the historic city and using signals from their cell phones in an effort to reduce the huge congestion in the tourist hotspots.
A network of 34 sensors has been installed that detects the silhouettes of everyone passing by and can identify whether they are children or adults.
The new system will also make it possible to intercept phone data to know where people come from and how long they stay in the city. The municipality says this will happen ‘in absolute respect for privacy’.
The experiment is now underway to coincide with this month’s carnival, which began on 8 February and continues until 25 February.
One of the 34 sensors installed in Venice (photo). They have access to cell phone data to record where someone has traveled to the city and how long they have been there
Paoloa Mar Councilor for Tourism said it was imperative to follow the flow of visitors to Venice, which has been concerned for some time about saturation at certain times and locations. The floating city attracts around 60,000 tourists a day.
“The system will use a combination of sensors, cameras, and WiFi to constantly monitor the situation with a data release every 25 hundredths of a second,” he said.
‘The information is processed in the smart control room by special software, which can then return information about the density of people present at a specific moment and their speed of movement.
‘In this way we can predict what time pedestrians arrive at a certain critical point and lead them to another area in advance, so as not to block or block pedestrian traffic.
“Preventing everyone from following the same path has a double advantage: it ensures better flow management, but also the discovery of unknown streets.”
The 34 newest generation of sensors, which can also detect the level of pollution in the future, have been installed at locations along the most important pedestrian transit routes, such as the historic bridges over the canals, museums and squares.
The local government of Venice said it had installed the sensors to lead tourists away from busy areas and will use them “in absolute respect for privacy”
It is not specified how visitors will be deterred from visiting crowded sites, although the information will be shared on social networking sites.
The municipality of Venice says that such a system has never been tested in a city before.
The authority emphasizes that the sensors only detect the silhouettes of people without identifying them. They do measure their length, the speed of movement and the density.
“This way we can know in real time which areas are the busiest, anticipating any congestion,” said a spokesperson.
‘The project will also make it possible to intercept the data from the telephone booths and to know the origin of the people, in absolute respect for privacy.
“In the analysis phase, we therefore have the opportunity to understand where visitors come from and how long they stop in the city.”
The new Venice admission price takes effect on July 1 when stamps in different colors at different prices are needed to enter the city.