The New York City Business Atlas
Mayor Bloomberg's "Geek Squad" has just launched a tool that will give small businesses in New York City the localized data they deserve. This tool takes the form of an interactive map that provides data about the economic conditions of potential business locations.
Physical retailers—or at least, the successful ones—drive a lot of business decisions with data, not gut feelings or anecdotal evidence. But for many businesses, data is inaccessible and analysis is unwieldy.
Enter the City's newest civic tech initiative: the New York City Business Atlas.
The Business Atlas provides up-to-date and interactive data across the five boroughs. Local businesses can compare a variety of datasets that will help them make location-centric business decisions.
Mapping New York City's foot traffic
Placemeter contributes pedestrian data to the Business Atlas. We use a proprietary blend of video analysis and third-party data to measure pedestrian activity per square meter.
The results are shown in the map above. The darkest green indicates the highest level pedestrian activity, and the lightest green indicates low levels of pedestrian activity. So, when you're ready to open your next gourmet rice krispie treat shop, you can check the map to find the locations with the most potential customers.
We ♥ NY
Partnering with the City has been both interesting and gratifying. Everyone has worked hard to leverage new technology to makes real-world differences.
The City’s very first Chief Analytics Officer, Michael Flowers, has been integral to this project, and to the City's success. He had this to say about our partnership:
The amount of people walking the city’s streets is one of its most powerful indicators of its economic vibrancy. As the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics built the NYC Business Atlas, we knew we needed high-quality information on pedestrian traffic that was detailed enough that entrepreneurs could rely on it when making one of their most important decisions: where to open. We placed our trust in Placemeter to give us that critical intelligence quickly and effectively, and they did not let us down. Placemeter provides the granular intelligence that New York’s small business community needs to really understand the local economy, and it’s now helping them make smarter decisions across the City.
Michael’s office—the so-called "Mayor’s Geek Squad"—is one of the major reasons why New York is leading the pack in the quest for smarter, more data-centric cities. His entire team, especially Chris Corcoran and Lindsay Mollineaux, were amazing. They worked hard to get Placemeter data into the Business Atlas, and to the data to the businesses that making difficult decisions in order to thrive in the City.
The Next Steps
The New York City Business Atlas is just one example of how we’re planning to help businesses and consumers change the way they interact with the world around them.