Surveilling Cities in the US: Where Are You Being Watched?

Did you know that, all over the country, there are surveillance cameras that could be watching you right now? With today’s picture quality, digital analytics and internet viewing accessibility of modern cameras, video surveillance is more widely used than ever by businesses, schools, governments and law enforcement.

But did you know you can access live city video surveillance yourself?

Here at Kastle Systems, we are passionate about video and even provide city surveillance systems for law enforcement in Washington DC and Arlington, VA – but we also appreciate how video surveillance systems across the nation are frequently made available for public viewing over the internet.

There are many live cameras with interesting views coast-to-coast that you can watch online anytime.

We were interested to find out just how many live, publicly viewable, cameras there are, what the most common subjects of surveillance cameras might be, and which subjects are the most popular to view across the top 50 cities in the country.

To answer these questions, we analyzed data from EarthCam for each major city in the country with some interesting results:

The most common live cam locations by city chart

When we look at the top 50 cities in the country, we can see there is a good mix of live camera view types from aquariums to karaoke.

Aside from the cities of Los Angeles, Miami, Memphis, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, St Louis, and Washington, it’s fascinating to see that major landmarks and tourist attractions aren’t the most common camera subjects. Many cities actually feature animal and skyline cameras for their most common camera subjects.

These are the cities with the most live cams graphic

When it comes to the cities with the most live surveillance cameras, Seattle comes in first with a total of 70 live cameras overall and with traffic as its most common camera subject.

New York comes in a distant second with 27 live surveillance cameras and its most common type of camera view is, unsurprisingly, skylines. San Diego comes in third with 16 live cameras. It seems that San Diegans are animal lovers because animal cameras are the most frequently used type of camera overall, they do have a remarkable zoo afterall!

These are the cities with the least live cams graphic

Surprisingly, Austin, Birmingham, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Jacksonville, Louisville, Memphis, Nashville, Oklahoma City, and Riverside all tie for the cities with the least amount of live surveillance cameras with each city – they just have one live camera each! We know there’s a lot of interesting things happening in these cities, so hopefully, these totals go up!

The most common live camera types graphic

When it comes to the most common types of live cameras, practicality leads the way. Traffic cameras are the most common type of surveillance camera overall with 139 individual cameras across the top 50 cities. Skyline cameras come in second place with 39 individual cameras and landmarks come in third with 30 individual cameras.

It seems many of the top 50 cities are animal lovers because 22 zoo cameras, 21 animal cameras, 15 falcon cameras, and 10 aquarium cameras are present across these cities.

Top ten most viewed live city cameras map

So what are the top ten most-viewed cameras in America?

Well, the lively and bustling Bourbon Street in New Orleans is the most viewed live camera in America with over 84 million views. That’s a lot of bead throwing people watching!

Coming in second is New York with its beautiful skyline camera being viewed over 63 million times.

Surprisingly, in third place, we have Miami with a cafe as its most-viewed camera with over 24 million views.

Los Angeles is in fourth place with the glitz and glamor of its Hollywood Boulevard camera attracting over 16 million views.

Viva Las Vegas! The Welcome to Las Vegas Sign camera is certainly popular, so it’s no surprise that it is the 5th-most viewed camera with over 13 million views.

Taking the sixth spot is Chicago’s Wrigley Field stadium camera. It’s been viewed over 12 million times.

Boston comes in seventh with its skyline camera being viewed over 10 million times.

In eighth place, we have San Francisco’s Golden Gate bridge camera attracting over 8.5 million views.

Dallas comes in ninth with its skyline camera being viewed over 7 million times.

Last, but not least, we have St. Louis in tenth place with its breathtaking Gateway Arch camera attracting over 5.1 million views.


So there you have it, Seattle has the most live video surveillance cameras across the top 50 cities in the country, traffic cameras account for the most live cameras overall and New Orleans has the most viewed live camera out of them all!