Archive for the ‘seven in seven’ Category



After spending a considerable amount of time on the NYC Open Data portal (Socrata) I started to consider how the website / application could move beyond it’s current state as a data repository and simplistic mapping application to become a tool for visualizing and analyzing the data it contains.  I’ve spent a considerable amount of time looking through a lot of data on this site, and even more time editing data so that it could be mapped / visualized.  What if users could contribute back edited data that is more user and analysis friendly? For example, a lot of this data contains addresses or even lat lon coordinates but often these elements are encoded in the data poorly making the data hard to geocode. If for example someone like myself could create an account, copy the data, then edit the data to make it more user-friendly, then upload it back to the site, a lot of time would be saved for future users down the road. Other users on the site could inspect the data and make corrections or flag it if it contained errors.

The image above is a prototype of what such an application might look like for NYC Open Data 2.0. A user could select from multiple data types and create overlays to draw connections such as mapping demographic data and grocery stores to determine areas of the city that might be considered food desserts.  The app would go further than visualization and actually analyze data; effectively giving the user statistical information and letting them know if there is significance such as correlation between datasets.  This is a first iteration and needs to be further developed and revised.

Screen Shot 2013-09-16 at 8.34.55 PM

link to interactive map

The inspiration for this map came from Rebecca Solnit’s Infinite City; an illustrative atlas that features a collection of maps and writings about San Francisco. One of my favorite maps in the book is titled; “Poison/Palate”. The map shows locations of sites designated as either a ‘palate’, ‘poison’, ‘poison/palate’ or ‘EPA Superfund.’  Farmers markets, organic farms and well known eateries are juxtaposed next to nuclear research laboratories, chemical plants, and Silicon Valley’s legacy of tech waste.  The map I made shows only locations of NYC’s farmers markets linked to their nearest superfund site (within city limits, their are many more just outside in other counties and New Jersey). With more time I would include other types of ‘palate’ and ‘poison’ sites such as notable NYC eateries and restaurants.  Further user interaction with the data would developed as well; such as the ability to search all sites from a certain distance of an address entered by the user.

Data was obtained from the EPA and NY State open-data.  CartoDB is being used to host and render the data live; a PostGIS SQL query links the two data-sets and a subtle light-grey base-map I imported from MapBox puts the data in context.  To process the data I used GDAL’s ogr2ogr utility to query out the 5 boroughs of farmers markets from all of NY.  I used QGIS to perform a spatial query on the EPA data to only select sites within the NYC boroughs (this could probably be done with ogr2ogr but I’m not certain).

*note: when searching for superfund data the EPA Environmental Dataset Gateway is a good place to start. Superfund sites are also known as “Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA)”, a term that comes up a lot in the EPA websites.

**the list of NYC farmers markets I used appears incomplete. The dataset I originally downloaded from nyc open-data contains more records but the address data is not easily geocodable; there are many addresses like: “Crotona Park South & Clinton Ave, in Crotona Park” instead of the typical format of street address, city, state, zipcode. Given more time I could have reconciled the state and city datasets and included more market locations.

NYC Mental Map

Posted: September 15, 2013 in hand-drawn map, seven in seven
Tags: ,


>link to high-res

For day five of the 7 in 7 project I drew a mental map of NYC depicting my limited knowledge of the city’s geography. A mental map visualizes a unique perspective from the person who draws it; places of importance, routes traveled, known and unknown areas, and perhaps most importantly how they feel about their geographic location(s). For example in my map I depict parks and a “Beach Land” area in the Rockaways which is telling of how public lands and open space are of importance to me. I filled a lot of unknown areas of Brooklyn and Queens with question marks, these are areas I’ve yet to venture to and know little about on a personal level.

Bike Collisions and Routes June 2013

Link to interactive map

This map shows cycling crashes recorded by the NYPD for June 2013, following the launch of Citibike in late May that year.  Bicycle lanes are shown color coded for off-street (green) or on street (purple), transitional (yellow), or null (grey). Ultimately my goal is to show where collisions tend to take place and if there has been an increase and in what areas following the launch of Citibike. This data only represents a sample of the dataset I collected, more collision data can be found hereThe map was created using CartoDB with QGIS and GDAL for inspecting and editing the geo-data prior to visualization.

NYC bicycle facility data is available here

Citibike station data is available here: which I believe is the live update.

More mapping of NYC’s open-data, this time with CSV data of graffiti reports, rat sighting calls to 311, and wi-fi hotspots. Graffiti sites are shown in yellow, rat sighting locations in red, and wifi hotspots in blue.

Screen Shot 2013-09-14 at 12.30.06 PM

link to map here

The point of mapping this data is that there really isn’t a point, just how arbitrary datasets could be viewed amongst each other. Once again TileMill, QGIS, GDAL, and MapBox were the tools I used to create this map.


Link to interactive map

This Choropleth map shows the number people per acre by census track. Data was used from the 2010 Census and taken from NYC’s open-data website. 

Tools used include QGIS, TileMill, MapBox, and GDAL.

NYC 100 year Floodplain 2020

link to interactive map

An interactive map showing the estimated NYC 100 year Floodplain for 2020 that takes into account the influence of sea-level rise predictions by the New York City Panel on Climate Change.
Data is here and was processed using QGIS, GDAL, & TileMill. Hosted with MapBox.