Mapping Art Galleries and WiFi in the Five Boroughs


For the Carto lab, I took an exploratory look at locations of art galleries across

the five boroughs, overlaid that with a map of WiFi spots. I was curious to see where

else besides Chelsea, SoHo, and Lower Manhattan had a concentration of galleries.

After seeing the layered map, I wanted to see if there was any link between gallery

presence and WiFi spots? Lastly, which boroughs have the least WiFi spots?

The first visualization (below) I found on the NYU


Rudin Center site, but did not ultimately use. It was useful in that it showed me how

to work with Carto, and what it could do. The map Satisfied curiosity about transport

routes as well. The east side has more truck routes, access points, and connections to

other boroughs and Long Island.

The second visualization (below) was closer to the final product, in terms of

subject matter. It was also more useful, as it was more along the lines of what I wanted

to create. Design-wise, not what I was looking for, necessarily, but was a starting

point. However, this map sparked curiosity about WiFi hotspots (I was thinking of the

Link terminals popping up –, as I had been

seeing them around town more frequently.



The third visualization I came across was the closest to the final product. This

is the dataset I wound up using (from the NYC Open data site). Once created,

wanted to add something else to make the map more detailed, so I added the art

gallery overlay to the existing map.


To create the map, I used Carto, and data sets (WiFi, and gallery locations)

from the NYC Open data site. Before settling on the final product, I worked with

other data sets (subway maps), but did not use that one because it did not quite work

out the way I had envisioned. The train data populated the map, but did not overlay

well with the WiFi and gallery layers. That could have potentially been resolved by

designating galleries with a different symbol, so as to avoid any confusion over what

was being shown. Also, the hover-over function that would display

addresses/intersections did not work.

To create the final product, I started looking around for appropriate data sets in

advance of the lab. The process began as an exploratory task to see what was out there

– what would work in Carto, as well as what I may want to see in visualization form.

As with the 2nd lab, I found data sets, but when plugging them into Carto, they did not

necessarily turn out as expected, or may not have worked at all. I created several maps

(such as the truck routes, and the train stations) before settling on what seemed to

meet at the intersection of functionality and interest.

After finding appropriate sets, I imported the shapefiles into Carto, and created

the map. It initially began with one layer (WiFi?), then added the other layer on top of

that, and began adjusting colors and other facets to show addresses and names for

galleries, as well as WiFi spots. Throughout the creation process, I made changes in

Carto to enhance visual presentation (placement of names, fonts, colors) to show the

different items being mapped.

The map (interactive) can be found at the link below:



Results-wise, the most gallery-heavy neighborhoods were in Manhattan, as

shown above. Neighborhoods such as Chelsea/West Chelsea, SoHo, Upper East

Side/Madison Avenue, and 5th Avenue, near the famed Museum Mile had the greatest

concentration of galleries. Most galleries were below 96th Street, with comparatively

few galleries east of Lexington Avenue. Above 125th Street, galleries become fewer in

number, with a handful in the upper reaches of Manhattan (Inwood, etc).

Interestingly, WiFi locations did not necessarily overlap with gallery locations.

A stretch of 8th Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen (43 to 46th St) has a multitude of WiFi spots,

but no galleries. 3rd Avenue, below 79th street had a heavy concentration of WiFi, but

fewer galleries than the west side of Manhattan. Uptown, from Central Park North to

135th Street, much more likely to find WiFi than galleries.

In the Bronx, WiFi is much more concentrated, usually near public parks, but

very few galleries (under 6) according to dataset. Brooklyn follows a similar pattern,

with WiFi clustered near parks. Galleries appear in areas such as Williamsburg, but

outside there, they are scattered about the borough.

Queens showed a similar pattern, with WiFi being near parks (and in some

cases, train lines, such as the E/F). Last but not least, Staten Island had its WiFi

clustered on the eastern side of the island, with a total of three galleries, all in the

northern half of the borough.

Future research could include adding a layer to show train stations, to see what

patterns if any, exist around gallery and public transit proximity. Also, one could

include a map indicating population, to see population density in neighborhoods with

galleries – is there any sort of relationship between the two? Shifting from galleries,

one thing to look into could be which WiFi spots are the most heavily-used in a given