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Now.Brussels real-time map shows tourists where locals are hanging out

15:03 24/06/2019

Tourist agency Visit Brussels has launched an online map that allows tourists to see where “real Bruxellois” are gathered as opposed to other tourists. The goal is to show visitors where locals go, giving them an alternative to tourist guides.

Now.Brussels uses a colour-coded interactive map that shows where both crowds of Brussels residents (yellow) and crowds of tourists (blue) are located. Colour intensity shows how dense the crowd is at any given time.

The real-time map was developed by Belgian creative agency FamousGrey and uses location data technology to work. It was developed in co-operation with Proximus but uses location data from all Belgian mobile service providers.

Even more helpfully, Now.Brussels pinpoints specific locations – restaurants, shopping centres, parks – where locals are currently gathered. It does that through social media posts that use photos, mentions or hashtags.

So if it’s, say 1.00, and an out-of-towner sees that the dark yellow blob has moved from one part of downtown to another, they might be able to find the exact club where locals are going.

As this is being written – at 14.45 on Monday – for instance, there appears to be a lot of locals gathered in the Mont des Arts area, and specifically at the Tonton Garby sandwich shop on Rue Duquesnoy (pictured). There’s not a tourist in sight, because they’re all over at A La Soupe, down the street from Central Station.

Visit Brussels emphasises that no individual information is given on the map and that at least 30 people have to be present in one space to show up on the map at all.


Written by Lisa Bradshaw


Frank Lee

Be prepared to see a bunch of tourists suddenly show up at the Mutuelle, ONEM, or any public administration where Belgians have to congregate.

Jun 24, 2019 18:19

:-D This was a good one Frank Lee!

Actually is not this breach of privacy? Should Proximus sell all this data for an app?

Jun 24, 2019 19:40

The reason we are in those places in the first place is because the tourists are NOT!

Jun 26, 2019 15:48