Interactive map of rats in New York

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Experts estimates that there are twice as much rats as people in New York city which makes it close to 20 million. It’s a real plague. The city started couple of initiatives to fight it. One of them included sharing the data from city’s 311 hotline on New York City Open Data portal.

We didn’t have to wait long for effects. Meredith Myers – a programmer and data visualizer created a map which shows the last 10,000 rat sightings that have been called into the city’s social services hotline. The map is updated daily but 10k of complains goes back about 6 month (New York received 24,511 complaints about rats last year).

What does the map tell us? You can clearly see that some areas are bright red, with hundreds more reports than nearby neighborhoods. It most likely suggests a simple access to food for rats. This might indicate that people in the area require some additional education about waste management or simply to put poison in rodent tunnels.

The map itself won’t solve the problem but looking at the problem from spatial perspective will definitely help.

Aleks Buczkowski
I'm a professional always thinking outside the box and a self-confessed gadget addict. As a son of a professor of cartography I was surrounded by maps all my life and as a result spatial way of thinking and seeing reality is naturally embedded in who I am.