Mapping the City's foot traffic
When Mayor Bloomberg's "Geek Squad" wanted to give NYC business owners the type of localized data they deserve, the Mayor's office worked with Placemeter to help them map the city's foot traffic and place it on an interactive map.
Physical retailers—or at least the successful ones—drive a lot of business decisions with data, not gut feeling or anecdotal evidence. But for many businesses, data analyses of places are either too inaccessible or too unwieldy to process. Enter the City's brand new data analytics initiative: the New York City Business Atlas. With Placemeter’s help, the City launched the Business Atlas a few weeks ago, providing an up-to-date and interactive map of data analytics for all five boroughs. Local businesses can visit the Business Atlas at anytime and see a variety of data layers that can help them make location-centric business decisions.
Through our partnership, Placemeter provides the Business Atlas with information on pedestrian activity in all five boroughs that they then present to small businesses. We use a proprietary blend of the Placemeter video network and third-party data sources to gauge pedestrian activity in the City per square meter, getting the resulting map above. The darkest green marks the highest pedestrian activity while the lightest green marks the least amount of pedestrian activity. So, when you want to open that gourmet rice krispies treat shop you can see how active the foot traffic is at one location versus another.
Partnering with the City has been particularly interesting and gratifying. New York’s maintained a lead in providing innovative data analytics to local businesses, leveraging new technology like Placemeter's to make real-world differences. A big reason why it’s been so successful is because of the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics and the City’s first chief analytic officer, Michael Flowers. He had this to say about our partnership with their office:
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 "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, was amazing. They worked hard with Placemeter to get our data into the Business Atlas, and to the businesses that are now using our data every day to help make the difficult decisions needed to thrive in the City.
Placemeter’s contribution to the NYC Business Atlas is just one example of how we’re planning to help businesses and consumers alike change the way they interact with the world around them. Come back in the next few days for some deeper dives into the data we've capture for the Business Atlas and how exactly a business could use it.