The city released a new web application Wednesday that will help make the lives of planners, builders and designers across the city significantly easier. It’s called ZoLa, New York City’s Zoning & Land Use Map.
The map is the work of NYC Planning Labs, a new division of the NYC Planning Department, created this summer under the direction of mapping wizard Chris Whong to build the kinds of mapping and data analysis tools used by cutting-edge startups. (Planning Labs won Tech Mission Org of the Year at the 2017 Technical.ly Brooklyn Awards Tuesday night, where we were able to speak to Whong on the eve of the project’s announcement.)
“For a city to be building applications like this, we’re really pushing the envelope on what’s possible, given that we have such great data resources and are a part of the open data community,” Whong explained.
Under the hood in the new ZoLa: @mapbox GL for beautiful frontend maps, @carto tiler and data APIs, #emberjs single-page-application, #expressjs JSON search api, #openstreetmap building footprints and 3D buildings, and of course, lots of NYC #opendata.https://t.co/A8PDf0gn3c pic.twitter.com/ZdwrrxggGP
— Chris Whong (@chris_whong) December 6, 2017
On the site, users can look up every single parcel of land in the city.
There are dozens of overlaid maps to toggle on and off. Want to see every historic district in Brooklyn? Easy. How about the flood insurance rate map? That’s there, too. You can find areas with mandatory inclusionary housing as well as limited-height districts.
“This is going to save planners hours of work, daily,” Whong said. “This is accessible not just to the public but to planners for their everyday work.”
Whong and his fellow member of the NYC Planning Labs team, Andy Cochran, said the buildout of ZoLa took just six weeks.