Discovering the 5 mins distance between NYC Art Gallery and Subway Station

Lab Reports, Maps, Visualization

IDEA Planning and Drafting

What I like about New York is there are various art galleries you can go and many exhibitions you are able to view. The art industry seems always a blooming field in this city, and it provides an enjoyable moment that you can do during your leisure time. Additionally, I am also fascinated about how the convenient NYC subway system is which helps you go to any destinations you want. Before this CARTO LAB, I had an idea in mind that I want to discover how NYC subway system associated with any related data and what the relationship between subway’s station and this data. Until I found many related datasets on the NYC Open Data website, I have an idea that how might I create a map that shows both the art galleries’ locations and NYC subway’ stations? It might be very interesting to discover this data from the business (art gallery) and consumer perspective.

Final Map

Data Visualization Examples

I found a very colorful Manhattan map (Image 1) that has many radial squares on the map. Maybe this didn’t create by any data visualized software, but this is the style I want to create for this project. The squares not only simulate the distance between point A to point B but also grab the attention (a beautiful map) from consumers’ perspective. Later, I found another example that creates by CARTO, which shows the locations people went after the NYC Pride Parade. What I learn from both maps indicate below two concepts that I want to utilize these skills into my map.

  • The relationship between point A and point B
  • The artistic radial diagrams

IMAGE 1 – Pratt Manhattan Gallery. Installation view, You Are Here NYC: Art, Information, and Mapping. Photo by Jason Mandella Photography. 
A Map of Where People Went After the NYC Pride Parade

Spatial Distribution of Tourism in Hamburg

Data and the technology I used

I found two datasets which matched to my original idea on the NYC open data website, which include NYC subway entrance and the NYC art gallery. And I used Carto to develop this map.

The developing process of map

The purpose of this map is helping users to interact with the map to predict the distance between art galleries and subway entrance. On the business’s side, art galleries owners are able to understand if their locations are effective enough so that this map can somehow help them make business decisions. For this purpose, I want to include the following two elements, which help me to achieve this goal:

  • The locations of NYC subway entrances and art galleries
  • The 5 mins walking distance between art galleries and the subway entrance

I inserted two datasets into CARTO to see how the map look like. In the beginning, I want to use ” Find the nearest” under analytics to create the connection between art galleries and subway entrances. Later, it didn’t show my expected result: the nearest subway entrances nearby art galleries. So it moved to use ” predict trend” options and hoped to develop successfully, but it turned out the same result as “Find the nearest”. Sometimes I realized the developing process is similar to experiment, all you need is to try and error until you get familiar with the functionality of each software. In the end, I used ” Create travel/distance buffer” to create the radial shape on each subway station and it turns out very beautiful!

clickable subway station dots and location’s information

I tried to find the balance between communicating information clearly and impressive visualization, so I decided to add one more layer in order to show the dots of subways’ entrances. Furthermore, users are able to see the name of the subway while they click the dots.

Result and future iterations

I really like the outcome of this data visualization which is very clear and beautiful. Especially CARTO has easy to use features for locations which is easy to play around. For the next step, I want to keep only ” one ” entrance and to see if the radial shape will show differently, because I found some part of dots are overlapping each other. I didn’t know if I remove some dataset, will it be still as aesthetic as it?