Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release # 003
Tuesday, April 14, 2009

DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSIONER PAUL J. COSGRAVE ANNOUNCES LAUNCH OF NYCITYMAP 2.0

Comprehensive, User-Friendly Tool Offers Information on Vast Array of City Services, Further Improving City Government Accessibility;

Several New Features Offered, Including Capital Construction Project Information and the Ability to Save and Export Maps

Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) Commissioner Paul J. Cosgrave today announced launch of the newest version of NYCityMap, the City’s web-based interactive mapping application, available on NYC.gov at www.nyc.gov/citymap.  The NYCityMap2.0 improved user interface provides several data layers available for the first time, including information about the City’s current capital construction projects and the addresses, hours of operation, services offered and language access capabilities of walk-in service centers for various City agencies across the five boroughs.  Added application functionality includes search history, distance measuring, and the ability of users to save and export their maps.  These improvements enhance previously-available NYCityMap offerings such as aerial photos of the city, building and property information, poll site locations and census data, neighborhood health profiles and statistics, restaurant inspection information, locations of educational facilities and transportation hubs, and much more.

“The new-and-improved NYCityMap is a treasure trove of geographically-based information,” said Commissioner Cosgrave “and should prove a favorite tool for anyone with a genuine interest in New York City.  NYCityMap2.0 does on a map what 311 has done by phone: provide a straightforward, single access point to vast amounts of information available from a variety of sources.  From distance measuring to City service centers, and traffic direction to NYC*Scout data, the best way to experience all the wonderful features NYCityMap2.0 has to offer is to dive in and start clicking away.”

Among early reviewers of the new application has been the New York City Council, which has responded with overwhelmingly positive feedback.

NYCityMap provides New Yorkers a digital one-stop for their neighborhood,” said Council Member Gale A. Brewer, Chair of the Council Committee on Technology in Government.  “DoITT has created a user-friendly interface, encouraging all of us to maximize the web’s full potential for government and community information.  This project is a great example of how technology can layer data over a map and help regular New Yorkers identify key local resources, such as fire and police stations, real estate data, and transportation hubs.”

“The new-and-improved NYCityMap allows offices like mine and civic groups throughout the city to monitor quality of life like never before,” said Council Member James Vacca, Chair of the Council Committee on Senior Centers.  “I have been advocating for a streamlined online database of property information for some time, and I commend DoITT for taking this important step forward.”

As a quick-reference tool, NYCityMap2.0 allows users to search by any address, intersection, community district or City Council district in the city, as well as by hundreds of place names (i.e., Bronx Zoo, City Hall, Grand Army Plaza, etc.), and to add desired  layers atop these chosen locations.

New layers available include: scenic landmarks and landmark interiors, census tracts, Fire Department battalions and divisions, EMS stations and airports; New York State Senate, Assembly, and United States Congressional Districts; and Long Island Railroad, Metro North Railroad, New Jersey Transit and PATH Rapid-Transit lines and stations.

Beyond the new layers, additional functionality also allows more comprehensive mining of City data.  Coupled with updated aerial photos and a search history, the larger map display includes more detailed features such as sidewalks, traffic direction, paved parking areas and internal park features.  Additional zoom levels allow users to find up to 15 of the nearest features from their searched locations, and a new “distance measuring” tool offers the unique ability to drag the mouse from location to location over the map to view the distance between them in feet, miles, kilometers and more – ideal for planning local trips by foot or on wheels.

Finally, when finished, users can take with them printer-friendly versions of their maps, or save and share the files later.

NYCityMap2.0 is built using an innovative framework that DoITT is standardizing across all City mapping applications to achieve greater efficiencies with current staffing.  This framework, leveraging open source software solutions, provides common functionality to City agencies allowing them to shorten the development lifecycle on mapping applications of their own.  Going forward, other City mapping initiatives may also be incorporated into NYCityMap2.0 to standardize the user experience.

“With NYCityMap2.0 we’ve coupled enhanced functionality with an improved user interface and more extensive data, resulting in a better customer experience,” said Director of Citywide Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Colin Reilly.  “Many of the improvements have been suggested by users of the popular NYCityMap first launched in 2006, and today’s upgrade makes the application even more valuable and user-friendly for New Yorkers.  Many of our users – community leaders, elected officials, urban planners and visitors alike – respond well to the visual medium web-based mapping provides, whether researching a project, planning a trip, or simply looking to learn more about their City.  The Citywide GIS Unit is pleased to make this contribution to the City’s mapping assets.”

Commissioner Cosgrave continued: “At the end of the day, the City’s goal in implementing new technology projects – and improving upon existing ones – is to improve the services delivered to our end-users: New Yorkers.  NYCityMap, and other planned web-based initiatives like it, demonstrates our commitment to continue delivering upon that promise.  I congratulate Colin and the entire Citywide GIS team for their wonderful work in this regard, and look forward to even more enhancements to come.”

The Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications transforms the way New York City interacts with its residents, businesses, visitors and employees by leveraging technology to improve services and increase transparency, accountability and accessibility across all agencies.  In 2000, DoITT assumed responsibility for maintenance of the City’s basemap – a citywide map that could be used by other agencies to layer data and build applications upon.  This basemap served as the foundation for a series of applications DoITT’s GIS Unit has since developed for the public to access on NYC.gov: the “My Neighborhood” application in 2001; the “NYC Map Portal” in 2004; and the first iteration of NYCityMap in 2006.

Contact:
Nicolas Sbordone (DoITT) (212) 788-6602