New interactive map takes city’s pulse with 311 data

herehere map
The recently launched HereHere NYC project regularly culls data collected from the city’s 311 non-emergency call system, which every day fields hundreds of complaints about anything from noise to landlords to graffiti.
Credit: Screenshot

The streets of New York City are alive thanks to a new interactive website that literally gives a voice to neighborhoods across the city.

The recently launched HereHere NYC project regularly culls data collected from the city’s 311 non-emergency call system, which every day fields hundreds of complaints about anything from noise to landlords to graffiti.

Put together by Microsoft Research’s Future Social Experiences Labs gathers the data and assigns it to 42 different neighborhoods in the five boroughs. The program then uses the information to summarize the three most interesting changes, tracking the dips and peaks.

But instead of a graph or raw numbers, HereHere gives each neighbored their own individualized, computer generated voice, offering a “human perspective” — without an actual human.

“I feel amused. Ha!” HereHere writes about Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst. “It’s been a while since this has come up, a few reports of a dead tree and a few defaced curb concerns. Big improvement over the last few days – no concerns about dirty conditions.”

East New York recently had the algorithm concerned.

“I’m worried… Uh oh…,” it wrote. “Haven’t seen this recently, a few defaced curb concerns and a few manhole cover concerns. That’s the most I’ve seen of this recently a few reports of traffic signal problem.”

The site also gives daily awards between the neighborhoods, such as Greenpoint, Brooklyn as the “Biggest Trash Talker” after putting in the most complaints about trash and recycling, or Long Island City and Astoria as the “Wildest Party Animal” for their most “adult” and after-hour calls.

The creators also offer Twitter feeds for each neighborhood and pulls old data to compare the biggest issue tracked by 311 the previous year.

Follow Chester Jesus Soria on Twitter @chestersoria


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