Metro Tech

Criticism of NYC OpenData: Pretty NYC WiFi Map, But Not Useful Beyond That


This is a guest post from Steven Romalewski who blogs at Spaciality. Mr. Romalewski directs the CUNY Mapping Service at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY).  A theme throughout his work over the past 20 years has been public access to data – identifying, obtaining, analyzing, and providing widespread access to data sets that help people understand their local environments. He has previously blogged about New York City’s OpenData initiative here.

@nycgov posted a tweet on Friday touting the map of WiFi hotspots on the new NYC OpenData site.  I was impressed the city was trying to get the word out about some of the interesting data sets they’ve made public. It was retweeted, blogged about, etc many many times over during the day.

The map is nice (with little wifi symbols  marking the location of each hotspot).  And it certainly seems to show that there are lots of hotspots throughout the city, especially in Manhattan.

But when I took a close look, I was less than impressed.  Here’s why: Read More