Easy Tutorials

Click on any of the easy-to-follow tutorials below to learn the basics of using IMAGE: NYC.

About the Data

Neighborhood areas

Population characteristics are mapped at the neighborhood level using the NYC Dept of City Planning “neighborhood tabulation areas” (NTAs). NTAs provide the following benefits for visualizing this data:

  • NTAs are easily recognizable in that they generally correspond to historical neighborhood areas in New York (although NTA names are not definitive, and the city does not maintain official neighborhood boundaries);
  • they represent aggregations of census tracts, so any data available at the tract level can be added up and mapped by NTA;

However, remember this important caveat when viewing the color-shaded NTA maps:
In an effort to standardize data visualizations, maps in IMAGE: NYC typically use 7 intervals with a light-to-dark color pattern. Generally, the distinctions between adjacent intervals (such as 10-20% compared with 20-40%) represent statistically valid differences. In some instances, however, where a map is based on data from a sample (in the Demographics and Socio-economics sections), you should exercise caution at making fine distinctions using data from adjacent intervals. Instead, you should focus on the general spatial distribution of the demographic or socio-economic variables, and emphasize the categories at opposite ends of the distribution (such as 10-20% compared with 80-100%).

Additional information:

  • IMAGE: NYC uses data from existing sources; no primary data collection was done.
  • For population information, the map is limited to data that have been aggregated and cross-tabulated by the Census Bureau. For example, the map is not able to portray patterns for characteristics such as undocumented immigrants, gender categories other than the categories used in the census (male/female), and sexual orientation at the neighborhood level.
  • Some data are not collected by age. Other data are collected by age, but the sample size at the neighborhood level is too small to be valid.
  • IMAGE: NYC is limited to those datasets that were available at the neighborhood level, reliable, and shared by partner organizations.
  • If you are interested in contributing data, please contact us at imagenycmap@nyam.org .

Technical Details

IMAGE: NYC utilizes the following online tools and technologies:

  • Esri’s ArcGIS software, including map layers hosted via ArcGIS Online (although ArcGIS is proprietary software, open source alternatives can be easily substituted for this component of IMAGE: NYC);
  • Carto’s basemap for reference; and other open source libraries such as Leaflet, Bootstrap, Vues.js, Lodash and jQuery.