PlaceILive is a startup that uses big and open data to visualize what is happening in your city. Whether that is air pollution, unemployment, internet speeds or the number of coffee places in your neighborhood. The goal is to measure livability through all this data so that you, as a smart citizen, can make better decisions and governments can make more sustainable cities.

Crucial in this, is their signature Life Quality Index: an algorithm that takes aspects like transportation, safety, and affordability into account to score every building in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, London and Berlin. This score makes it possible for people to easily compare the livability of different houses. You can read more on their methodology and sources here.

The data comes from open government sources and companies like US Census, NYPD, SF County, Socrata, Google and Foursquare. Then on their servers they use different map tiles to layer all their demographic data on city, area, street and building level.

To celebrate going public with their platform, they have redesigned their maps of New York City. These maps are so detailed, they offer information on the level of individual houses and will force you to change your perception of the city.


According to PlaceILive’s data, if all of NY’s unemployed found jobs, they’d generate $25 billion; enough to eradicate world hunger.

1 New York By The Numbers Place I Live Visualisation


Each year, New Yorkers make $496 billion each year. The PlaceILive team equivocate that’s roughly the same as the GDP of Norway ($353.188 billion), and the Apple valuation (although the most recent reports suggest Apple could be expecting a trillion-dollar valuation soon. NY’s got some catching up to do).

2 New York By The Numbers Place I Live Visualisation

 Air Quality

The “Day” map paints a pretty damning picture of air quality in New York, whilst almost the entire city experiencing low or sub-par air quality.

3 New York By The Numbers Place I Live Visualisation

Internet Speed

Unsurprisingly, Manhattan appear to be leading the way in terms of internet quality, with parts of Queens and the Bronx getting the lowest internet speeds.4 New York By The Numbers Place I Live Visualisation

Life Quality

PlaceILive use over 100 data sources to compile their life quality index, including transportation, safety, leisure and demographics. The vast majority of New York does not have a high “quality of life”, and there appears to be zero high-quality areas in Staten Island.

5 New York By The Numbers Place I Live Visualisation

New York By The Numbers Place I Live Visualisation Derk Steemers
Derk Steemers is the CMO of PlaceILive For more on PlaceILive, you can follow and like them on Facebook or Twitter.

All images courtesy of PlaceILive. Annotations provided by Eileen McNulty.

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