Watch Tokyo come alive with this real-time map of its transit system

At 4:44 AM Tokyo time (nearly three in the afternoon here in Chicago) I am glued to my screen: a green block has just passed the map icon for the live feed I’m watching, and I’m curious what the time delay is. Seconds pass, and no train comes into view. At around 4:46 a Yamanote line train speeds past on the YouTube stream. Two minute delay—not bad for half a world away.

Mini Tokyo 3D (opens in new tab) is a project by Japanese developer Akihiko Kusanagi (opens in new tab). The website presents a Google  Maps-style 3D view of Tokyo paired with live data from its world famous transit system, letting you follow along with subway trains in real time. The site also collects 19 24-hour broadcasts from YouTube and matches them with their locations on the map, letting you zoom in on the street views of various locations along Tokyo’s transit lines. Mini Tokyo 3D also tracks incoming and outgoing flights in the city’s airspace, and you can lock the camera to follow individual trains and planes on their paths.

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