Big cities generate Big Data. It can be very difficult to access and understand large amounts of data. If you have to go through millions of records you do not get an overview and you don’t get the ‘big picture’. One way to understand Big Data in a faster way is by overlaying it on maps, satellite imagery or even aerial photography.
In the examples below we took millions of records about the population of New York City and we overlayed it in Bing Maps. As a result you can instantly see trends and differences between different parts of the city.
The example above shows the Latino data per county both in a chart as well as overlaid onto a satellite photo. Move the mouse to a different county and the card data updates instantly. Instead of viewing the data per county we can look at the data per precinct.
In the image above the data is now colored per Census Block to give much more detailed information. You can now see which parts of the different counties have a higher percentage of Latinos. We can switch to different data sets. The next example shows the racial distribution in New York city.
his image shows the concentration of African Americans in blue, Asian Americans in yellow and White Americans in red. The data is colored per Census Block. In the next example we are looking at income levels.
In the image above the average state income decile was determined per census block. The blocks are colored in a gradient from yellow for the lowest income levels to deep red for the highest income levels. This picture instantly shows poor and rich neighborhoods. Let’s zoom in and look at some detailed data.
The image above shows access to detailed census data from aerial photos. Both tabular data, census line data as well as aerial imagery are combined to give the user a comprehensive idea of the situation. In some cases data is available at the actual address level. The example below shows address information accessed directly from the aerial photography.
Address information can be accessed by browsing around in Bing Maps. Markers are shown for all addresses for which data is available. The example above gives access to over 10 million voter records in the state of New York in VoterMapping. Access to this data is restricted by law to maintain privacy.
Big City Data is exploding but new solutions are becoming available to make the data more accessible and easier to understand. By creating a real-time visual interface where millions of maps, satellite images and aerial photos are used as a backdrop for the data Big City Data can become accessible for a wide audience.