City pigeons. They’re the bird all Londoners love to hate with their scavenging ways, frightening numbers, and dubious hygiene. Still, we envy them their ability to fly, not least when we are sat on a sweaty bus in traffic. How wonderful it would be to just flap your wings and soar above the crowds. Well folks, now you can as George Mackerron, a researcher at UCL, has developed the Pigeon Simulator, a programme that cleverly feeds your movements in front of a Microsoft Kinect depth camera into Google Earth. Simply flap your arms, lean forward and bank left or right and you’ll find yourself airborne above the streets of London. You might even learn a fact or two, as real-time data such as current air pollution levels is streamed live from another UCL project, City Dashboard. The simulator’s source code is now online for anyone to enjoy – so simply run it off your own PC, plug in your camera and prepare to take flight. Lisa Paul
Download it now at github.com.