Civic News
Data / Technology

SimCity comes to real life as NYC and CARTO team up on data dashboard

City workers will be able to move between neighborhoods and precincts to see what the data looks like where.

Quantified Care CEO Mike Batista in 2014. (Courtesy photo)

The City of New York is teaming up with Bushwick mapping startup CARTO and multinational data visualization company Vizzuality to create a data dashboard for use by city agencies.

Data from more than 20 city agencies will be updated as it is uploaded, and will be reflected in customized maps of the city. City employees will be able to set boundaries the data, and if something shows up as out of whack, will be alerted to it on the map. It will be like SimCity, but real.

“One use could be measuring short term and long-term trends in home ownership rates over time and how they relate to increases or decreases in burglaries,” explained Vizzuality’s Camellia Williams, picking a hypothetical example because real-life ones are confidential. “Analysis based on these indicators can help the city understand how to distribute police resources currently and in the future.”

Inside the data.

Inside the data. (Screenshot)

We do know that data will come from agencies including the New York Police Department, the New York Housing Authority, 311 and the Department of Housing Preservation & Development.

CARTO has always made public benefit part of its operations, having employed civic technologists and researchers from its early days.

“The NYC Dashboard is a great example of putting the power of location intelligence to work for cities and people,” CARTO cofounder Javier de la Torre wrote in an email. “At Carto, our mission is to help organizations improve people’s lives by making location data actionable, so we’re proud to power the NYC Dashboard for better citizen service.”

The data in the dashboard will update based on different schedules by agency, with some updates daily, some weekly and some monthly.

As one of the bigger problems in city government is the difficulty in coordinating and communicating information across massive departments, the value of having a dashboard that workers can access and get up to speed on is apparent.

Companies: Carto
Series: Brooklyn

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