Every lot bots

Neil Freeman, 2015
Twitter bots in Python
daily tweets

The Every Lot bots are a family of Twitter bots that post Google Streetview photographs of every property in tax records, in numerical order by tax id. Depending on the size of the city, each bot will take around thirty years to post images of the "entire" city.

The bots in operation: New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles. An open source software library makes it possible for anyone to create additional instances of the bot.

The bots merge two competing methods for generating a totalizing view of city. Google has cars, cameras, and computation; the City has tax clerks, history and legal authority. These two mapping systems are vast and difficult to visualize. By pairing them, the bots reveal moments of disharmony in the two approaches. This friction between two visions of urban space is part of the fun: the bot occasionally posts "no view available here", or an image of a building in the wrong borough. Missing data sometimes results in no address.

The bots draws on numerous precedents, including tax photos and Edward Ruscha's Every Building on the Sunset Strip