wikicity rome | MIT | SENSEable city lab

Rome's Notte Bianca is all about the city, the people and the events. How are the people moving within their city in response to this exceptional pulse of activities and events happening? Below you see a project that has been projected live on screen during the night of September 8th in Rome. Overlaid on the map of Rome, you see different dynamic real time data as a fast forward view of that night.

Events that were occurring around the city are indicated at the corresponding location on the map at the time they occurred; a color flickering overlay illustrates how Romans moved within the city by reflecting cellphone usage.


Besides people moving by foot, the Notte Bianca focused on public transport for mobility. During the Notte Bianca, you could see Rome's busses' real time position and find answers to questions such as: 'Where are buses near me right now?', and, 'are the buses where the people are?'.

The public screening of WikiCity Rome cycled through four different screen modalities; this post-Notte Bianca online version instead lets you recall the dynamic of that night in fast forward mode which you can pause at any point.

Click here or on the map below to see a recorded video of the evening.

wikicity rome | map
wikicity the project    

The Wiki City Rome project has been made possible on the basis of the real time data provided by the partners of the project and the software platform for data aggregation, processing and visualization developed by the SENSEable City Lab at MIT.

This project, in occasion of the Notte Bianca, is an opportunity to present a first public glimpse of Senseable City Lab's comprehensive WikiCity project. It represents the logical next step after the Real Time Rome project, presented during the 2006 Venice Architecture Biennale. Then, real time data was displayed in an exhibition setting at a geographical distance from where the data was collected, presented to an audience of planners and designers, that constitute much of the Architecture Biennale's visitors.

The Notte Bianca implementation allows people access to the real time data on dynamics that occur in the very place they find themselves in, in that moment, creating the intriguing situation that the map is drawn on the basis of dynamic elements of which the map itself is an active part. 'How do people react towards this new perspective upon their own city while they are determining the city's very own dynamic?' and 'How does having access to real time data in the context of possible action alter the process of decision making in how to go about different activities?'

Senseable City Lab's complete WikiCity project considers such questions in a larger context that includes the active uploading of information by citizens, local authorities and businesses regarding an ever increasing field of data; an elaborate approach to semantic data structures to enable novel ways of querying the data and a rich array of multimodal access interfaces for users to interact with the data in a meaningful way. Please refer to the WikiCity webpage for more information on this project.


+ press release
+ project images
+ wikicity rome photos
+ wikicity research project page
+ wikicity research paper
+ wikicity research paper summary

+ la notte bianca (official event website)

MIT Accessibility

Press Materials
The material on this website can be used freely in any publication provided that:

It is duly credited as a project by the MIT Senseable City Lab. PDF copy of the publication is sent to

For more information,

  Assaf Bidermann
Francesco Calabrese | team leader
Fabien Girardin
Kristian Kloeckl | team leader
Carlo Ratti | lab director
Bernd Resch

wikicity rome | partners


trenitalia atac la repubblica telespazio telecom italiapagine gialle wikicity rome SENSEable City Lab MIT