I apologize if this is the wrong stack forum.

I want to obtain a large amount of surveillance data for a computer vision project I am working on but I am having a difficult time doing so. I specifically am creating a project that would more so work with a governmental surveillance system that monitors public places (like people walking along the sidewalk, cars driving by, etc.) so I'm thinking like the CCTV type of footage.

Youtube has failed me, and my professors aren't sure either. I was wondering how someone might go about this, and more broadly, how other people have coped with obtaining a large amount of obscure data for their own projects.

  • 5
    This likely would not be sanctioned by any credible review board "governmental surveillance system that monitors public places". You should get review board approval before doing this. Then once you get approval you will still have difficultly obtaining data. Feb 14 '17 at 18:45
  • @Ifyoudonotknow-justGIS: Well, if you are working for the big-brother state whose data you use, it might work. (Of course, “not be sanctioned by any credible review board” still applies.)
    – Wrzlprmft
    Feb 14 '17 at 18:49
  • So I saw that some states allow for the public to access their surveillance data for some nominal fee. cmu.edu/hss/ehpp/documents/2014-City-Surveillance-Policy.pdf So I'm not saying I want to create a "governmental surveillance system that monitors public places" I am saying that those systems exist in certain places, and I want to know if there's a way to find footage similar to this style?
    – panthor314
    Feb 14 '17 at 18:50
  • Perhaps [with ethical approval] you could use some of the publicly available, HQ streams like the ones available here: earthcam.com/usa/newyork/timessquare/?cam=tsrobo1
    – Luigi
    Feb 14 '17 at 19:05
  • what does "obscure" refer to?
    – user67075
    Feb 16 '17 at 6:31

I do not think that there is a general strategy to obtain obscure data other than:

  1. Think about who might have such data (legally and ethically).
  2. See whether they provide this data for free.
  3. Ask them.

You may have luck in crowdsourcing steps 1 and 2 of this process on Open Data Stackexchange, half of whose questions are data requests. However, given the nature of your specific enquiry, I doubt that you will be successful there, as such data is very unlikely to be open.

  • I really appreciate the response. I'm planning now to ask a few local (family friends) businesses for some of their surveillance data. As well as maybe creating some on my own. I'll check out open data as well
    – panthor314
    Feb 14 '17 at 19:05

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