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Covering Housing Workshop at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard

March 18, 2017

Presentation here

Before and after images

  1. Open up JuxtaposeJS, an easy-to-use tool built by Northwestern's Knight Lab. We'll be using two screenshots of maps created for the Urban Institute's Our Changing City: Housing project about Washington, D.C.

  2. Click "Make a slider now."

  3. In left image, paste in this url:

  4. In right image, paste in this url:

  5. Delete Apr. 2005 and Nov. 2013 labels.

  6. Click "Update preview."

Alt text

Introduction to mapping

Using Google My Maps, we’ll quickly map some addresses and then plot "shapefiles" of public housing in New York City.

Mapping points

  1. Download point data of lead kit requests here.

  2. Import this CSV into Google My Maps.

  3. Style the lead kit request points by selecting "uniform" and then customize their icon and color.

What is this data?

(This is pulled from NYC 311 data found at

311 service complaints data, by the way, is a huge list, with everything from rodent complaints to noise complaints to illegally parked cars.

So, we will filter it down here in the Filter tab by complaint type: lead, status: open, created date: after 2.1.2017. Then we'll download a CSV in the Export tab.)

Mapping buildings/shapes

  1. Download shapefiles of NYC public housing here.

  2. Import the KML file into Google My Maps.

  3. Style the public housing buildings by "borough."

  4. Set labels as “development.”

What is this data?

(This is pulled from where we did a search for "nycha" "new york."

Click on KML below Map of NYCHA Developments. It will bring you to this page. Click Download in top right.

KML is essentially a list of shapefiles. Shapefiles are polygons – or, more specifically, a list of coordinates outlining a polygon. A triangle has three coordinates. A square has four. A state like Colorado will have fewer than Rhode Island.)

Alt text

Mapping boroughs or neighborhoods

  1. Download shapefile of NYC boroughs here.

  2. Upload the KML of NYC boroughs to Google My Maps.

  3. Style by "BoroName."

  4. Download shapefile of NY neighborhoods here. Upload to Google My Maps.

What is this data?

The NYC boroughs KML file was converted from a shapefile zip I downloaded from here. I converted it using My Geodata Converter.

The NY neighborhoods shapefile was found on Zillow and converted using My Geodata Converter into KML.

Alt text


Covering Housing Workshop at the Nieman Foundation






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