Category: mapping

How Many Surveillance Cameras Are in Your City?

Technology advancements have certainly helped society. But they no doubt have their downsides. One gray area is the increased use of CCTV or closed-circuit television cameras in most major cities around the world.

Of course, surveillance cameras have their benefits. They help deter and solve crimes and even mitigate traffic. While some aspects of CCTVs are intended to make the world a safer place, privacy activists worry about allowing police unfettered access to footage of our daily lives feels invasive. Whether you’re of the opinion that increased surveillance keeps us safe or you’re against the watchful eye of CCTVs, you should know where your city stands on the matter. A couple of cities have nearly three million surveillance cameras while others have significantly fewer CCTVs—just 40 cameras or so, which you can find on the map below.

View CCTV Cameras by City in a full screen map

On the map, you’ll see the number of CCTVs in 120 of the world’s most populated cities. The data is from Comparitech, which they also conveniently offered in the form of a spreadsheet. Sort the map by the number of CCTV cameras, the population, and then the number of CCTV cameras per 1,000 people or let us highlight our findings of the cities with the most and least surveillance below.

Cities With the Most Surveillance

More surveillance means easier to solve crimes and there are plenty of highly-populated cities around the world with millions of CCTV cameras. Most of them are located in Asia. Without factoring in population, the following 10 cities are the most-watched:

City Country # of CCTV Cameras
Shanghai China 2,985,984
Chongqing China 2,579,890
Shenzhen China 1,929,600
Tianjin China 1,244,160
Beijing China 800,000
Guangzhou China 684,000
London England 627,707
Ji’nan China 540,463
Wuhan China 500,000
New Delhi India 179,000

As the table above depicts, Shanghai, China is the city with the most surveillance. Shanghai has nearly three million cameras scattered around its 2,448 square miles. To put that perspective, the second most-watched city, Chongqing, China, is 31,776 square miles. Shanghai has 400,000 more CCTV cameras than Chongqing, though Shanghai takes up almost 13 times less space. Shanghai must hide cameras in every nook and cranny.

Following Shanghai and Chongqing are four more Chinese cities: Shenzhen, Tianjin, Guangzhou, and the country’s capital, Beijing. All of these cities have over 650,000 cameras, and Shenzhen and Tianjin’s numbers are in the one-millions. The next city is another capital, though this one is the first to be outside of China: London, England. London is the #1 most-watched city in Europe.

And while the following two cities of China and India’s capital, New Delhi, are all located in the same continent of Asia, it’s still notable New Delhi was slotted as #10 given China’s monopoly. In fact, 80% of the top 10 cities are Chinese, so we don’t expect to see China anywhere near the list of cities with the least CCTVs.

Cities With Less of a Watchful Eye

Photo by Scott Webb from Pexels

Not all of the highly-populated cities of the world are equipped with CCTV cameras on every corner. There’s a difference of up to five figures between the cities with the most surveillance and those with the least, as you’ll see on the table below.

City Country # of CCTV Cameras
Reykjavik Iceland 40
Nairobi Kenya 42
Stockholm Sweden 70
Melbourne Australia 93
Belfast Northern Ireland 120
Luxembourg Luxembourg 139
Riyadh Saudi Arabia 150
Kitakyushu Japan 194
Amsterdam The Netherlands 203
San Jose Costa Rica 215

No single country dominates the list of ten cities with the least watchful eye like China did with the most CCTV cameras. However, 50% of the cities on this list are located in Europe. This includes the city with the least amount of CCTV cameras watching its residents and visitors: Reykjavik, Iceland. Reykjavik is home to just 40 surveillance cameras in it’s 106 square miles. Nairobi, Kenya has a similarly small number of surveillance cameras.

Stockholm, Sweden, the country’s capital has a relatively small number of CCTVs for crime deterrence and such. Stockholm’s crime and safety indices are average: 44.48 out of 100 for crime and 55.52 out of 100 for safety.

The other seven cities have just under or just over 100 CCTVs. However, there are several factors that affect how many CCTV cameras a city may need, including population size and crime levels.

How Population Blurs the CCTV Lens

Shanghai, China and Reykjavik, Iceland are notable for being at one end of the extremes when it comes to their number of surveillance cameras. However, once population size is taken into account, things can get blurry. Since we know the number of CCTV cameras and the number of people in each of the following cities, we can also know the number of CCTV cameras per 1,000 people. Let’s see where the cities of Shanghai and Reykjavik fall when we factor in population.

Most CCTVs by Population

While Shanghai has more CCTVs overall, Chongqing, China steals the number one spot from Shanghai based on population. Chongqing is followed by Shenzhen, China, bumping Shanghai to #3 once population is accounted for.

City Country # of CCTV Cameras # of People # of CCTV Cameras per 1,000 People
Chongqing China 2,579,890 15,354,067 168.03
Shenzhen China 1,929,600 12,128,721 159.09
Shanghai China 2,985,984 26,317,104 113.46
Tianjin China 1,244,160 13,396,402 92.87
Ji’nan China 540,463 7,321,200 73.82
London England 627,707 9,176,530 68.40
Wuhan China 500,000 8,266,273 60.49
Guangzhou China 684,000 12,967,862 52.75
Beijing China 800,000 20,035,455 39.93
Atlanta United States 7,800 501,178 15.56

Additionally, whereas before no city in the U.S. made the top ten, Atlanta, Georgia now makes the cut. Previously #46, when population is entered into the equation, it settles in as #10.

Though not in the top 10, the city of Abu Dhabi in the UAE made a significant jump from #31 to #12. Chicago, Illinois, also notably moves from 24 to 13. Plus, even though Tokyo, Japan is the #1 most populated city out of the 120 on the map, it still has relatively few CCTVs: 0.65 per 1,000 people.

Least CCTVs by Population

Nairobi, Kenya replaces Reykjavik as the number one city with the least surveillance when population is taken into account. In fact, Reykjavik now no longer even appears on the top ten list.

City Country # of CCTV Cameras # of People # of CCTV Cameras per 1,000 People
Nairobi Kenya 42 4,556,381 0.01
Melbourne Australia 93 4,870,388 0.02
Riyadh Saudi Arabia 150 7,070,665 0.02
Manila Philippines 300 13,698,889 0.02
Cairo Egypt 500 20,484,965 0.02
Stockholm Sweden 70 1,608,037 0.04
Dhaka Bangladesh 1,000 20,283,552 0.05
Surat India 614 6,873,756 0.09
Brasilia Brazil 453 4,558,991 0.10
Bangalore India 1,301 11,882,666 0.11

Other cities that no longer make the list are Belfast, Luxembourg, Kitakyushu, Amsterdam, and San Jose. Instead, we now see Manila, Cairo, Dhaka, Surat, Brasilia, and Bangalore. Stockholm moves further down the list as Melbourne and Riyadh rise once population is accounted for.

Nearly Every Country’s Most Surveilled City

There are 66 countries represented on the map. Of these, 17 countries are home to multiple cities with lots of CCTVs. Below is a list of the 17 country’s most surveilled cities.

  • China: Shanghai (2,985,984 CCTV cameras)
  • India: New Delhi (179,000; capital)
  • Russia: Moscow (146,000; capital)
  • Australia: Sydney (60,000)
  • South Korea: Seoul (37,883; capital)
  • UAE: Dubai (35,000)
  • United States: Chicago (35,000)
  • France: Paris (33,479; capital)
  • Mexico: Mexico City (26,400; capital)
  • Japan: Tokyo (24,500; capital)
  • Canada: Toronto (14,955)
  • Pakistan: Islamabad (9,950; capital)
  • Italy: *Rome (8,300; capital)
  • Brazil: Salvador (7,300)
  • Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh City (6,150)
  • Colombia: Bogotá (4,856; capital)
  • South Africa: Cape Town (1,578; capital)

New Delhi, Moscow, Seoul, Paris, Mexico City, Tokyo, Islamabad, Rome, Bogotá, and Cape Town are the capitals of their respective countries. This makes sense as capitals are often highly populated cities with a need for increased surveillance. However, Shanghai, Sydney, Dubai, Chicago, Toronto, Salvador, and Ho Chi Minh City aren’t the capitals of their countries yet still have the most CCTVs.

Surveillance Data Pops with Custom Base Map Styles

We opted for the dark map style for our CCTV map, which we think fits the topic of surveillance perfectly. When you make your maps with BatchGeo, you have the option to customize your base map styles with the click of a button—no code required. Choose between six map base styles when you make your first custom map at

Excel Zip Code Tricks: Leading Zeros, Shorten to Five Digits, and Make a Map

Excel is a powerful tool that experts and novices alike turn to for their data needs. This includes location data like addresses, cities, and states, and even zip codes, where Excel tricks come in handy. There are tricks to keeping or showing leading zeros in zip codes and to shortening zip codes to five digits.

In this post, we’ll show you how to:

The first Excel zip code trick is how to keep or show leading zeros.

Keep or Show Leading Zeros

As you type numbers beginning with “0” into Excel or Google Sheets, the zeros are automatically removed. However, there may be times when you wish to keep those leading zeros. Phone numbers, product numbers, and zip codes are examples of such occasions. Imagine you’re working with location data from Puerto Rico. It would be incredibly frustrating to type in a “00923” zip code only to have “923” appear.

Keep Leading Zeros as You Type

While keeping leading zeros isn’t the default in Excel, there is a way to keep zeros as you type by changing the format to “Text.” Do this by following the steps below:

  1. Select your desired cell(s)
  2. Navigate to the Home tab in Excel
  3. Click the dropdown of the Number option
  4. Select Text

This amends the cell’s default settings, though an error ⚠️ message will appear. Click Ignore Error, and now, leading zeros will remain as you type. Alternatively, you can add an apostrophe (’) in front of the number with leading zeros, and Excel will treat it as text. However, perhaps you need your zip codes in a number format so you can use other Excel magic. If this is the case, you’ll want to show leading zeros a different way.

Show Leading Zeros in Cells

You can show leading zeros in cells in a way that still treats the data as a number via formatting.

  1. Select your desired cell(s)
  2. Right-click on the cell(s) and select “Format Cells…”
  3. Navigate to the “Special” Category
  4. Select Zip Code

This method is best for situations in which you need to work with a numeric dataset. Another Excel zip code trick you need to know is how to shorten zip codes to five digits.

Shorten to Five Digits

While less common, U.S. zip codes occasionally come in a nine-digit form called Zip+4. In fact, the five-digit zip codes most of us are familiar with are actually abbreviated versions of nine-digit ZIPs. In many cases, though, five-digit zip codes are preferred. If your spreadsheet contains nine-digit zip codes you want to get rid of, you can shorten the nine-digit zip codes to five digits in one fell swoop with a simple formula.

Follow the steps below to shorten to five digits:

  1. Insert a new column to the right of your current zip code column
  2. Type or copy and paste =LEFT(C2,5), replacing C2 with your cell’s identifier
  3. Drag the formula down the rest of your column

Now your nine-digit ZIPs are shortened to five-digit zip codes. And, since you also now know how to keep and show leading zeros, you can take your data one step further and make a map.

Make a Map

Once you’ve mastered Excel zip code tricks like displaying leading zeros and shortening numbers to five digits, you can make a map. BatchGeo allows you to map your data for free. Create custom maps like the one of places in San Juan, Puerto Rico below.

View San Juan, Puerto Rico locations in a full screen map

When you’re ready to make your own map, gather your data in a spreadsheet. Our post on how to simplify complicated data in Excel spreadsheets can guide you. Once you have your data, get started making your map with the following steps:

  1. Open your spreadsheet
  2. Select (Ctrl+A or Cmd+A) and copy (Ctrl+C or Cmd+C) all your data
  3. Open your web browser and go to
  4. Click on the location data box with the example data in it, then paste (Ctrl+V or Cmd+V) your own data
  5. Check to make sure you have the proper location data columns available by clicking “Validate and Set Options”
  6. Select the proper location column from each drop-down
  7. Click “Make Map” and watch as the geocoder performs its process

Now that you know how to make a map with BatchGeo, you can make custom maps like cities around the world by latitude and longitude or national animals of every country. You can even customize the base style and marker shape and color of your maps. It’s easy to let BatchGeo’s geocoder map your data in seconds, leaving plenty of time to customize your map exactly how you want.

The Silver Tsunami Explained

By 2027, cars may be exclusively self-driving and universal health care may not just be a distant dream. Also by 2027, seniors (60+) will begin leaving millions of houses in metro areas across the United States. As baby boomers continue to age, millions of their residences will be put on the market, resulting in a large housing boom. This is all set to take place between 2027 and 2037 and it’s been dubbed the “Silver Tsunami.”

As with any tsunami—water-based or otherwise—it’s best to be prepared. First-time homebuyers may wish to be especially prepared as the Silver Tsunami is expected to put millions of homes on the market, lowering the market rate. However, some metro areas will see a heavier influx of available homes than others. Therefore, preparation for this housing boom involves knowing which metro areas will see the highest increase in houses on the market between 2027 and 2037.

View Silver Tsunami in a full screen map

The map above displays Zillow’s mortality data which is used to predict the metro areas that will see the most homes go on the market. You can manipulate the sortable categories on the map so that you too can understand the Silver Tsunami and how it will affect the housing market. Or read on for an explanation as to where the Silver Tsunami will hit the hardest when it begins in 2027.

Locations Hit Hardest by Silver Tsunami in 2027

By 2027, seven metro areas in the U.S. will see 13.5% or more of houses put on the market as a result of the Silver Tsunami. Three of the seven areas are located in the same state, as you can see on the table below or on the map when sorting by 2027 and selecting the first range (“15.2%-13.5%”).

Metro Area State By 2027
Tampa FL 15.20%
Miami FL 15.20%
Tucson AZ 14.80%
Orlando FL 14.40%
Dayton OH 14.30%
Pittsburgh PA 13.60%
Knoxville TN 13.50%
Greensboro NC 13.30%
Cleveland OH 13.20%
Buffalo NY 13.20%

It seems Florida is the place to be (or at least buy a home) in 2027. A popular retirement hub, it’s no wonder so many homes are expected to go on the market as a result of the Silver Tsunami. The metro areas most affected in the Sunshine State are Tampa, Miami, and Orlando. These three Florida cities have anticipated rates of homes released to the market by seniors above 14%. Yet Tucson, Arizona, breaks up the Floridian monopoly of the top spots. Tucson has an estimated share of homes to be released to the market by seniors just above Orlando.

Additional metro areas that can expect an influx of homes on the market after the passing of elderly folks include Dayton, Pittsburgh, and Knoxville. And while Knoxville is the last to have a rate above 13.5%, it should be noted that Greensboro, North Carolina, Cleveland, Ohio, and Buffalo, New York also have significantly higher rates than most metro areas. Greensboro will likely see 13.3% of houses go on the market while both Cleveland and Buffalo can expect 13.2%. Ohio, like Florida, has more than one metro area where plenty of current-seniors’ homes will be put on the market. So, renters in Florida and Ohio may want to start saving up for 2027 when tons of houses are sure to swarm the market.

However, those who don’t end up finding a home they love in 2027 can wait ten more years to get more than double the choices.

Ten Years Later: Where the Silver Tsunami Strikes in 2037

Photo by Blake Wheeler on Unsplash

Just ten years after the start of the Silver Tsunami, available houses will have more than doubled in many metro areas. While you may predict that the Silver Tsunami will benefit the same places in 2037 as in 2027, it’s not 100% the case—aside from Tampa.

In 2037 as in 2027, Tampa, Florida reigns as the #1 metro area with the most houses available from the Silver Tsunami. Tampa’s available homes will increase from 15.2% in 2027 to 33.2% in 2037—an 18% change.

However, unlike Tampa, the number of homes on the market in Miami did not increase enough from 2027 to guarantee a second-place ranking again in 2037. In fact, purchasable homes in Tucson, Arizona are expected to surpass those in Miami by 2037. In 2027, 14.8% of homes are expected to be put on the market in Tucson. In 2037? Over thirty-two percent of homes will become available—an increase of 17.8% in just ten years. This is why Tucson ends up at #2 a decade after the initial Silver Tsunami wave. In 2037, Miami will drop to #3 with an increase in homes of just 16.7% from 2027.

Orlando continues being the fourth metro area with the biggest increase in homes in 2037, as does Dayton in fifth. However, Knoxville and Pittsburgh flip in rank from 2027 to 2037. Available homes in Knoxville will have risen to 30.8% (a 17.3% change from 2027) while Pittsburgh’s purchasable houses will reside at 30.2% (a 16.6% change). While Pittsburgh may have gone from #6 to #7 in the ranks, the metro area is still notable for being the last with an available housing rate of 30% or more in 2037.

Other interesting data trends include the disappearance of Buffalo, New York from the top ten in 2037 as well as Albuquerque, New Mexico’s sudden appearance. Buffalo’s available homes are only set to increase by 15.8%, earning it a rank of #12 while Albuquerque should increase by 16.9%, putting it in ninth place in 2037.

Yet, not every metro area is as lucky as the ones noted above when it comes to the Silver Tsunami.

Regions Rejected by the Silver Tsunami

A decade is more than enough time for the Silver Tsunami to make its way across the nation. Yet, by 2037, several metro areas in the U.S. aren’t anticipated to see much of a housing boom.

Viewing the map with BatchGeo’s heat view feature enabled, we see seven states with metro areas notably absent from any activity. These include Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, North and South Dakota, Nebraska, and Iowa.

The heat view also makes it clear that aside from the single metro areas of Oregon (Portland) and Washington (Seattle), the Silver Tsunami pretty much skips the Northwest. Now, this doesn’t mean the children and grandchildren of baby boomers are hoarding their homes in this region. What it does mean is that there likely isn’t a huge population of older folks in these areas.

On the other hand, the entire East of the country (aside from the hole that is West Virginia) lights up like a firecracker via heat view. This means more baby boomers live in metro areas on the East Coast than the West and they’ll likely leave millions of houses on the market between 2027 and 2037.

So, you want to save big and buy a house in 2027 or 2037? Start planning now. Make an open house map or any other map today for free with BatchGeo.