There are more than 1 million buildings in NYC, and many of those clustered on the island of Manhattan, spanning architectural styles, hundreds of years, and all manner of types. And now, a nifty new tool, called All the Buildings in Manhattan, takes information about those myriad structures and puts it in one colorful data visualization.
The tool was created by Taylor Baldwin, a software engineer at BuzzFeed who has created similar projects that visualize Citi Bike user trips and the various parts of different songs. Thanks to the abundance of data that the city makes publicly available—namely its own 3-D building model and PLUTO tax lot data—Baldwin was able to create a map that’s both visually compelling and informative on a number of levels. (“One thing I learned is that there is an unbelievable amount of data the city makes available,” he says.)
The PLUTO data allowed Baldwin to sort his visualization by category: age, building height, or class of building. Thus, you can see which neighborhoods have the highest concentration of old buildings (basically most of the areas below 14th Street), the tallest buildings (Midtown, of course), and where different types of housing—single-family, walk-ups, and the like—proliferate.
It’s a fascinating whirl through Manhattan’s built environment—check it out here. (Baldwin recommends viewing it on a desktop in Chrome; he’s working on optimizing it for mobile and other browsers.)