Data is Fun

Where data is fun.

August 05, 2020

Pigeon Waste complaints in NYC

Pigeon Complaints by Borough Jan. 2010 – Jan. 2020

Many consider NYC is an awesome place. If you want to know a city (or anything) better look through its data. Data will NOT always tell a complete picture, but one might find some insights and unexpected info. The 311 dataset has numerous complaints from NYCers. From crime, sewage, rodents, loud music, social distancing, and parking… and pigeon waste. This data is just the complaints – you are not hearing about all the amazing things the city offers.

After digging through 311 data a couple months ago I discovered pigeon waste. Who knew New Yorkers complained about pigeon waste? I knew people complained about rodents. Turns out there are even specific rules for reporting pigeon waste complaints. These complaints are about the Pigeon poo. “It is not illegal to feed or keep pigeons” (NYC Health). I guess it makes sense, many pet owners have cats, birds and dogs. Pigeons are birds. There are also complaints about dog waste, so why not pigeon waste?

Just the fact that complaining about Pigeon Waste ‘is a thing’ is illuminating. It was interesting that there were around the same number of complaints in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. Around 1,600 , 1,500, 1700 respectively.

If you now feel the need to complain about Poo (or many other things about NYC) there is even a website to take your complaint.

August 01, 2020

Social Distancing Complaints in NYC

Complaints via 311 in NYC for individuals not social distancing. Data doesn’t indicate if people aren’t wearing masks, or keeping 6ft.

There are a couple things to note about this analysis:

  1. Data collection – As per NYC 311 website there could be delays in reporting data. This could skew the data.
  2. Time period/Data completeness – At time of the data was extracted June was only 1/2 of a full month.
  3. Complainers – Do certain zip codes, or Boroughs complain more?
June 24, 2020

Illegal Fireworks in NYC

Several publications (New York Times, NBC) have mentioned an increase in illegal fireworks complaints in NYC. Looking into the 311 data there was a surge of complaints in June 2020 and we are only slightly more than 1/2 through the month. The data was pulled from NYC’s open data portal on Monday, June 22nd. The drastic spike reminded me of the chart of un-employment claims on the front of the New York Times a few months ago. See the page on Fast Company.

May 04, 2020

BBQing in NYC

Locations in NYC Boroughs where one can BBQ. Note: BBQing Location is approximate as the latitude and longitude is that of the park. Not necessarly the exact BBQ location.

Originally DataisFun made a similar post with just the Manhattan locations. It’s now expanded to include all the Boroughs. One thing to note is that this includes the locations in NYC parks. If you wanted to BBQ maybe your apt. building or hotel would have BBQ access. (Probably unlikely, but possible).

Another option is Governor’s Island (GI). While it’s not part of the parks department it offers another way of BBQing in Manhattan.

Governor’s Island allows charcoal grills ( no propane). They can be reserved with a permit. For $26 permit it’s an inexpensive way of having a BBQ with friends, or you could just have a bbq in one of the NYC parks.

Data Source:
BBQ icon: made by Freepik from

April 30, 2020

Tree requests in NYC

Was a new tree requested in your neighborhood?

April 20, 2020

Queens Public Libraries

There are 5 boroughs in NYC: Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island, Manhattan. One might think they have 1 library system however there are 3:

  • New York Public Library: Serves Manhattan, Bronx, Staten Island
  • Brooklyn Public library – Serves Brooklyn
  • Queens Public library – Serves Queens

This is a visualization of library branches in Queens open on Sunday. One can also un-filter to see branches open all days.

Why visualize Queens and why Sunday?

Even though the Library systems are separate New Yorkers can join all 3.

Why Queens?

Decided to start with Queens since the dataset was available.

Why Sunday?

Although there are 65 locations in Queens only 3 of them are open on Sundays. This is a little less than 5%.

Individuals have varying schedules and it’s interesting that so many locations are closed on Sundays. One might think Saturday and Sunday would be the days with the highest utilization because those that work a M-F job could visit on the weekend.