Roberta Barrington

New York City Noise Map

Exhibition: Spread v1

The Process

New York City Noise Map – Data visualization for an interactive program or website. This project is an exercise in data visualization and interaction design completed during course study in the Interaction Design department at the School of Visual Arts NYC in the summer of 2013. During the four week course we were asked to research a chosen subject, source data sets pertaining to that subject, parse the data and communicate the data visually. We found our data set using the NYC Open Data Portal, a public information database generated by various New York City agencies. Our chosen data set is a log of noise complaints made to the NYPD and 311 in 2012.

Once we had sifted through the data I began to sketch ways of communicating how New Yorkers experience noise. We asked questions like ‘How would people interact with this information?’, ‘Is there a seasonality to noise in NYC?’, and ‘Are there any emerging trends between boroughs or neighbourhoods?’. We ended up sorting the data by borough and then by neighbourhood, organizing by date and type and then created simple graphs using data mapping programs like R Studio and Excel for quick reference. The end result is a different type of map, one designed to communicate sound rather than space or distance. The final interpretation would be an interactive program or website where users could compare boroughs, neighbourhoods, and complaint types.