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Track: Iowa Caucus Returns

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

The map on this page shows not only who’s winning in each of the state’s 99 counties, but, using Patchwork Nation, it shows how the candidates are doing in each of Iowa’s eight types of county – from the wealthy Monied Burbs to the rural agricultural Tractor Country counties. It will fill in with data as the results from the caucuses come in.


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Census Pinpoints City's Wealthiest, Poorest Neighborhoods

Thursday, December 08, 2011

New census data looking at median income identifies some of the richest and poorest neighborhoods in the New York City area. The numbers and location might not be all too surprising, but what might is how close some of these neighborhoods on either end of the income scale are to one another.

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Thousands of NY Votes Tossed Over Ballot Confusion

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Tens of thousands of votes cast in New York State last year were voided after voters filled out too many ovals on their ballot and then didn't understand the scanning machine's warnings, a new report found.

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The Empire

Can Brooklyn's historical black Congressional district survive?

Monday, December 05, 2011

Update: Links to the US Census Bureau statics are not include in links.

In our first installment examining how the decennial redistricting process affects—and is affected by—ethnic and racial communities of interest, we took a look at Queens’ growing Asian community who are calling for more opportunities to be part of the political process. We made our own plurality Asian Congressional district, which brought up the Voting Rights Act (VRA) and the role it’s played in New York City politics.

Few communities have benefited more from the VRA than the black community. While Harlem has been cast as the symbolic center for black politics in New York City, the real epicenter of black political power is Brooklyn. It has been, and remains, the borough with the largest African American, Caribbean and continental African population.

But as with the rest of the city, Brooklyn’s black population is in a state of flux. A number of external and internal forces have reduced the relative and absolute population of people of African descent, and the trend lines going forward indicate a city that will continue to be less black. The waning size of the black population—sooner or later—will have a corresponding effect on black political power in the city.

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Transportation Nation

Google Street View: Not Just For Directions Anymore

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

When you're a desk toy doomed to a stationary existence, you don't get out much -- unless you know how to use the Internet.  Address is Approximate is a short stop motion film that imagines the toy "tak(ing) a cross country road trip to the Pacific Coast in the only way he can – using a toy car and Google Maps Street View." You can follow along as the toy goes over the Brooklyn Bridge, through cities, forests, and deserts--ultimately making it to his West Cost destination. Watch it below!

Address Is Approximate from The Theory on Vimeo.

Hat tip to Laughing Squid.

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Disagreement Over How Much Gas, Employment Fracking Would Bring to NY

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tonight, New York State regulators will hold the first of four public hearings on the Cuomo administration’s proposal to permit and regulate the natural gas drilling technique called “fracking.” While much of the discussion has focused on the environmental hazards, there is also debate over the economic benefits of fracking, and even the amount of gas contained in the Marcellus Shale.

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Mapping NJ 2011 Election Results

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Up-to-the minute election returns from across New Jersey.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

POPS Report: Tell Us About New York City's Privately-Owned Public Spaces

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

WNYC's Brian Leher Show and The New York World are collaborating on a project to map and report on New York City's Privately-Owned Public Spaces, aka POPS. We want to figure out how public these public spaces really are. Through zoning incentives, New York's city planners have encouraged private builders to include public spaces in their developments. Many are in active public use, but others are hard to find, under heavy surveillance, or essentially inaccessible.

With the Occupy Wall Street encampment in Zuccotti Park drawing attention to the regulations and usage of these spaces, we want you to tell us about the POPS in your life. Whether it's parks, plazas, atriums or fountains, find all of NYC's POPS on the map below, then use the form to report on your experience.

Here's How -- Deadline for Submissions is November 9th!

1) Find your space on the map below. You can zoom in to different parts of the city, and click on a particular space to see information such as the owner, the boundaries, and the total area.

2) In the pop-up menu you'll also see a Site ID - a unique ID we've assigned to each space.

3) If you want to report on a particular space, enter the shortcode in the form below and tell us about your experience!

4) That's it! Read some of the response highlights here, and we'll follow up online and on-air in the coming weeks.

If you're on Twitter, you can tweet photos with the hashtag #privatepublic and the name or site ID code for your location.

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WNYC's Picks for the 2011 CMJ Music Marathon

Monday, October 17, 2011

From Tuesday through Sunday, more than 1,350 bands, DJs and comedians will perform at the annual CMJ Music Marathon and Film Festival. Check out WNYC's trippy color-coded map to see our CMJ picks — from En Vogue to Mike Birbiglia to Dum Dum Girls — for each night of the festival.

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The Empire

Is a 40 percent Asian Congressional district in Queens possible?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

One of the main issues being discussed during redistricting is providing communities of interest--often meaning, in short hand, racial and ethnic groups--with political boundaries that give these under-served groups greater influence over who represents them.

Last week a coalition of social justice groups released draft maps for the state legislature seats here in the city. Asian and Latino-majority districts were carved out for both the Assembly and State Senate, while existing African American districts were kept intact. Today Common Cause, who has been pushing this issue, has an op-ed in El Diario on the need for more majority Latino districts.

"Where the lines are drawn have the power to influence whether a particular neighborhood or community will be able to elect the representative of their choice," Susan Lerner, the group's executive director, wrote in the English version. "Communities that are divided among several districts – as neighborhoods with large numbers of Latinos have been in current and previous district maps - find it harder to gather the voting strength to make a difference at the polls."

At the Congressional level there have been pushes to create both a Latino--predominately Dominican--Congressional district in Northern Manhattan and the Bronx. There has also been speculation that a 40 percent Asian district could be created in Queens.

We decided to see if that was possible. John Keefe, our map wizard at WNYC, dug through census data to carve out what would be a 40.3 percent Asian district.

A few things. First, race can't be the only thing used to create a political map, per Federal rules. This was the specific thing we were looking to do, and did our best to keep the district as condensed as possible. Still, as you can see, it's not the most visually pleasing map. Other groups working on maps they plan to submit to LATFOR, the legislative group drawing the lines, say it's possible to create a 40 percent Asian district that is more tightly constructed.

But what the map does illustrate is that it's possible to create such a district. More importantly, the Asian community in Queens is currently having their political potency spread over four different Congressional districts.

Steve Choi, executive director of MinKwon--an Asian American community group located in Flushing, Queens--took a look at the map. His group is creating their own, and he was particularly concerned about the push into Jackson Heights and Elmhurst area because of the Latino population there that would itself be diluted if only the Asian population was considered. He said they're working to create a unity map with other organizations to help preserve political strength across the various ethnic and racial communities.

Still, the exercise helped prove Choi and other activists' point. "The basic concept is that you can have a [Congressional] district that is 40 percent Asian American in Queens," he said.

The long-time exclusion of Asians in the political process has driven Choi and others to use this opportunity to push for better districts. "I don't think it's a stretch to say we have historically been disenfranchised just as many other minority communities in the state have been," he said.

While LATFOR hasn't been, in Choi's mind, particularly embracing of the push to create more Asian districts--he said the committee has said it is focusing on "the current political realities"--he feels the time is right for political lines to be drawn with his community in mind.

"It's realistic, it's possible, and its necessary to draw these districts in a way that's going to include our influence," he said, noting that he and other groups are keeping all options on the table--including litigation--to make that happen.

Next up: we'll be looking at the 11th Congressional District in Brooklyn and what it will need to take to keep the Federally protected African American population in the district at the levels it what was in 2000, despite major demographic shifts over the last decade.

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Young Art Spaces Flourish Far From the Mainstream

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Even with over 300 galleries in Chelsea, many younger artists struggle to have their work seen and promoted. To that end, we've highlighted eight alternative arts destinations to explore in the city.

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A Tour of NYC's Coolest and Oldest Graffiti

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Richard Hambleton retrospective at Phillips de Pury & Company is only on view through Tuesday. But there's still plenty of historic graffiti around town to cast your eye over. With the help of graffiti aficionada Katherine Lorimer (who snaps shots of street art as Luna Park), WNYC has created a tour of five of the coolest and oldest pieces of graffiti around town.

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The Empire

The 54th Assembly campaign contribution breakdown: Where have all the in-district donors gone?

Monday, September 12, 2011

We've posted before about the financial dealings in the 54th Assembly District in Brooklyn. The three candidates are all pulling money from their networks of donors, and we had been asked--sometimes sarcastically--when we'd breakdown the donations to see, mostly, who had done the most fundraising in district.

Well, folks, ask and you shall receive is our mantra over at the Empire blog. Thanks to the map wizardry of WNYC's John Keefe, we've been able to break down the data from the Board of Election to paint a fiscal picture of where the candidates are getting their support.

First, some background and general info. What you're looking at are the donors to each campaign, not the individual donations. Looking at the number of unique donors is a better measure than total number of donations. The individual donors were then tagged to the map using their address information. Some of the addresses didn't compute, meaning a small percentage -- less than two percent -- aren't present on the map. Corporate, PAC and other group donations were combined with individuals in all averages and tallies.

Here are the raw numbers:


The first thing you notice is that, despite calls from a number of quarters for a breakdown of in-district donations, the truth is not one candidate managed to get into double digits when it comes to either total donations, or the percentage of money raised.

That being said, the Towns and Gonzalez campaigns have the highest totals, respectively. In truth, these ridiculously low in-district numbers shouldn't be surprising. The area we're talking about is a poor one, and raising tens of thousands of dollars in-district would have been a tall feet.

Still, no one can really claim to be pulling their support--at least financially--directly from the people they represent.

What's interesting about the map below is how close to home the candidates ended up raising money. Take a look for yourself and let us know what you think.

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Streets, Tunnels, Subways In Lower Manhattan Closed For 9/11 Anniversary

Thursday, September 08, 2011


If you're planning on driving to Lower Manhattan this weekend for the tenth anniversary of 9/11, don't. Or to use the language of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority: "Motorists are strongly cautioned to avoid driving in the area." Drivers will encounter tunnel closures, frozen zones and blocked streets throughout the weekend.



The Gallerina Guide to the Fall Openings in Chelsea

Tuesday, September 06, 2011


New York City's countless art galleries will come out of summer hibernation for the fall openings this week. Check out WNYC's incredibly handy downloadable map and mobile phone guide to the Chelsea fall art openings here, complete with food and drink options, and spots where you can kick up the stilettos or scarf disco fries.

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Look | NYC Evacuation Zones

Friday, August 26, 2011


New York City's hurricane contingency plans are based on three evacuation zones: Zone A, Zone B and Zone C. The threat of flooding in these areas are different. To find out if you live in one of these zones, look at our map.

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Evacuations, Transit Shutdown Ordered as Hurricane Irene Roars Toward East Coast

Friday, August 26, 2011


As Hurricane Irene continued its march toward the East Coast, Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Friday issued a mandatory evacuation of the city's low-lying areas and the announced a system-wide mass transit shut down beginning at noon on Saturday.

LATEST: Do You Live in an Evacuation Zone? CHECK OUR MAP / How to Weather Hurricane Irene in the City / Latest on Transportation, Closures and EvacuationsUrban Survival Kit: What You Need

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NY, NJ Declare States of Emergency as Hurricane Irene Chugs Toward Tri-State Area

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The governors of New York and New Jersey declared states of emergency Thursday as Mayor Michael Bloomberg urged city residents in low-lying areas to find high ground ahead of possible evacuations this weekend as Hurricane Irene barreled toward the East Coast.

MAP | Do you live in a flood-prone area?

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Transportation Nation

Where's the Amtrak Map At Penn Station?

Monday, August 15, 2011

The U.S. Rail System, 1918 (Photo: Railway Maps of the World)

To the list of things not to like about Penn Station -- the ceilings are too low, there’s no natural light, the food is unmemorable, add this:  You can’t find a display map of Amtrak train routes.

From Penn Station, you can take the train from Penn Station to Montreal, or Miami, or Montana, but if you stand under the departure board, author Mark Ovenden says, “you can’t see a map for love nor money.”

Ovenden, wrote the book, Railway Maps of the World.  (See a slideshow of samples here). We’ve come down here to New York’s Penn station to evaluate the maps, because it’s a confluence of railway systems -- Amtrak, New Jersey Transit, and the MTA subway and Long Island Railroad. But we get stuck at the Amtrak, because we can’t find a map.

“In Europe,” Ovenden says, “in a lot of the big old stations, there were these great big tiled maps made from ceramic or painted on the wall. There’s one at Bordeaux for example, a massive map of the whole of the south of France.”

But in Penn station we find advertisements where we think a train map should be. For food, drink, even train travel. An Amtrak spokesman concedes there’s no wall map, but says you can find the information in other ways. Ovenden says that’s missing the point -- and an opportunity. A map, he says, is an advertisement for travel. It pries open your mind.

“These wonderful display maps, really give you the sense of getting on board, the joy of the journey and the experience of traveling by train.”

At the Amtrak information desk, the agents hand do hand out booklets, with a map you can fold out. The map looks nice, a network of red lines stretching over a green background. It shows mountains, waterways, and cities. But then Ovenden lays the current map next to a train map from a hundred years ago.

I do a double-take. The lines on the old map are so thick that they’re barely discernable, one from the other. “We had almost a railway in almost every town and hamlet in the U.S.,” Ovenden says. “The old 1918 map looks like the blood vessels and the arteries and the veins of a country. It was the lifeblood of this country and when you look at it now, it’s just a skeleton.”

Through World War II, the railways were booming in the U.S  But after the war, the country made a choice. There was a huge infusion of federal funds into the interstate highway system. Air travel took off. Passenger rail was passé.  During parts of the day, Penn Station was almost empty. (For a related guest post by Mark Ovenden, click here.)

And, then, the station was torn down, replaced by a thicket of anonymous office towers, Madison Square Garden, and this crabbed space, which is so crabbed even the idea of an Amtrak map is foreign.

There is one part of the station that’s still alive -- the public transport part. NJ Transit has a nice map -- pretty, but smallish. But the MTA just nails it, with huge subway, bus, and Long Island rail maps. Ovenden’s energy ratchets up about ten notches when he sees these maps.” That’s what you need on the wall of the station, that’s fantastic! Look at it!”

We see tourists from France, China, and parts of the United States. These maps are about more than wayfinding.   They’re entertainment. They’re art. “Maps are part of the journey, and we shouldn’t forget that,” Ovenden tells me, as we wrap.

Maps are a vision of who we are, who we can be, and where we can go.


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Andy Warhol's Favorite New York City Haunts

Friday, August 05, 2011

From 1949 up until his death in 1987, New York City was home to Andy Warhol. WNYC had a look through Thomas Kiedrowski's Andy Warhol's New York City: four walks uptown to downtown, published by The Little Bookroom, and mapped out some of Warhol's favorite spots in the city.

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