In Brief

The city generates data every hour, and this tool will help it collect and use this information for better real-time governance

New York is a big and complex city. Therefore, understanding how certain events within one area will affect its inhabitants can be a bit of a challenge. Data offers a powerful way to measure and improve how a city operates, but this data is only valuable when government officials are able to review it and put it to use in a timely manner. Vizzuality, a science and technology company focused on data visualization, worked with location data tool Carto and the New York City Mayor’s Office to develop the city’s data dashboard.

Bringing together data from a host of 1,400 open data sources—from agencies including the New York Police Department and the Department of Transportation—the dashboard is designed to make sense of all the data collected by all the agencies and groups in the city.

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Designed by Hyperakt, the dashboard includes economic, environmental, social and political indicators that let City Hall keep track of what goes on all over the city, but the most interesting aspect of this tool is that it’s designed to pull in data in real time and presents it in a user-friendly way for key government decision-makers.

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City employees can see what’s happening across the city and zoom in on specific locations or periods of time, and explore the data in charts or in interactive maps, gaining insight that can be used to make timely decisions. For example, Carto’s COO Miguel Arias told Fast.Co Design that this tool could be used to predict how natural disasters might affect the city and help inform an action plan. The dashboard can be accessed on mobile and web, and sharing information is as simple as clicking on a card within the data dashboard, which generates an email that shares that piece of data with anyone in the government.

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While the dashboard is only available for government employees, the data itself can be accessed by anyone. The NYC data dashboard will sure set a precedent of modern government, now all that’s left to see is how it’ll be used to improve the lives of city dwellers.

Vizzuality | Carto | New York City Mayor’s Office

New York is a big and complex city. Therefore, understanding how certain events within one area will affect its inhabitants can be a bit of a challenge. Data offers a powerful way to measure and improve how a city operates, but this data is only valuable when government officials are able to review it and put it to use in a timely manner. Vizzuality, a science and technology company focused on data visualization, worked with location data tool Carto and the New York City Mayor’s Office to develop the city’s data dashboard.