On July 25, data fans rejoiced when New York City government opened up a gigantic amount geo-spatial data to the public. The dataset, PLUTO, is "a real-world version of Sim City" based on tax lot data (it sounds less interesting than it is). Now, maps based on PLUTO are hitting the web -- and these are some of the coolest.
Up until two weeks ago, PLUTO represented the last big chunk of data that city officials had yet to make public. Not only was the data concealed behind a pricey $US1,500 pay wall, but city law made it illegal to put maps based on the information online. That meant that valuable block-by-block data on building height, year and more remained cloistered away from the hordes of eager data whizzes.
One of those whizzes -- developer and cartographer Andrew Hill -- was among the first to mine PLUTO for insight when the city finally liberated it. Over on his website, he's created a handy little slideshow of his findings so far. Hill has allowed us to republish some of the highlights below.
Here's the neighbourhoods in Brooklyn that have access to the least amount of public space:
And a volumetric map of Midtwon Manhattan, based on floor numbers:
A chronological map of construction shows where 19th century New York boomed:
And how the 1910s and 20s saw wild growth:
Meanwhile, the NYC of the Depression and WWII saw a slight slow-down:
With many large public and private projects emerging after the War:
Battery Park City, on the lower west edge of the map, added acres to the city's size:
While the new World Trade Center site is visible here:
Developers on Central Park East are eager to protect their views:
The tallest walk-up seems to be a 16-storey building on the Upper East Side ("Uhm, I doubt it," says Hill):
Check out the full slideshow here.