If you read this blog regularly, you already know that we’ve been adding a lot of useful data to NYU’s Spatial Data Repository. Today, we are excited to announce our latest collection and collaboration: we’ve added the January 2016 version of Frank Donnelly’s NYC GeoDatabase as individual Shapefile layers into our collection. Those layers (26 total) are available here.
To understand the significance of this, it helps to know a little bit more about Frank and the GIS services at Baruch CUNY. Frank is Baruch’s GIS Librarian, he and his team have put in an amazing amount of work to collect and often immensely improve data released by NYC Planning and other public sources (you can read Frank’s blog at gothos.info). Frank’s documentation, which we’ve preserved, is impeccable and truly demonstrates the value of his efforts to preserve public data and make it more useful to GIS users of all skill levels. Sometimes the interventions are small. In the NYC Colleges and Universities layer, for instance, Frank has simply redacted locations coded as colleges and universities from the Selected Facilities and Program Sites database released on Bytes of the Big Apple each year. Others are more complex. In the Subway Complexes and Ridership file, for example, Frank and his team at Baruch have harmonized MTA ridership data and expressed it in terms of the “complex” level (see the file documentation of this methodology). Layers such as this make it immensely more convenient for users to study transit in the city.
We’re excited to extend our collaboration and add even more files created by Frank and his team. For those in the GeoBlacklight community who are curious, this collaboration represents a combination of institutional resources that we think is promising. Baruch CUNY has put in a great deal of work to develop these files but (for now) lacks the technology stack to publish data on Geoserver and maintain an independent instance of GeoBlacklight. NYU has already done the legwork, so by acquiring the files, we pledge to not only preserve the data but also to make it available to the cross-institution community. We hope that others will be able to follow suit. As always, all of metadata is available on OpenGeoMetadata.