Who hasn't dreamed of soaring over a city, dipping between the rooftops, peering into people's windows? A new simulator allows anyone to have a real-life birds-eye view of London.

It's a pretty simple idea: University College London's Dr. Andrew Hudson-Smith rigged up the experience using a Kinect and a Google Earth 3D plug-in, and the setup can even incorporate live data feeds—say, traffic or weather—to make the experience more realistic.

Hudson-Smith thinks the simulator could be used for architects and planners to communicate a sense of place, creating real-world flyovers of their designs.

The only catch, at least with this version, is that you have to be a pigeon—the rat of the sky. A little pigeon head is superimposed over your own, and you need to flap your arms like an idiot to stay aloft.

I'm a Bird! This Pigeon Simulator Lets You Soar Over London

Okay, first of all, nobody wants to be a pigeon. Nobody.

Might I suggest an alternate airborne London icon that would be far more dignified? [BBC News]