NYC Flood Maps - Session 9 Update

1. Pitch Update We are sticking with a story about the parts of New York City that fall between various versions of active and proposed flood zones. We have refined our topic in a few ways: We want to study the ways that NYC-developed maps differ from FEMA maps. Do…

Session 9 Reading Response: How do we map uncertainty?

The Columbus Landfall reading is a pointed account of historiography that addresses how we think about uncertainty in the context of history and historical mapping. I was surprised how sure each historian was of their account of Columbus' path, how biased their approach was, and then how much vitriol they…

NYC Flood Zone Site Visit - Spanish Harlem

I visited the southern part of Spanish Harlem, which saw extensive Sandy damage (which was mostly contained within the 2007 flood zone). This area is interesting for two reasons: There is a significant difference between 2007 and 2013 (FEMA proposed) flood maps in the area (blue vs. yellow on the…

Have computers made maps less biased?

There is an implied relationship between age and interpretation where older sources elicit a more skeptical review. Harley certainly makes this point in his 1988 essay, arguing that maps are neither true nor false (just as a painting or piece of music is neither true or false), but instead represent…

NYC Flood Map - Exploratory Data Analysis

In keeping with the three topics we outlined last week: 1. Flood Maps’ “Grey Area” We investigate the differences between proposed and existing flood maps - what makes these places difference? How are they the same? What would change if new flood maps were adopted? This chart shows when buildings…

NYC Flood Maps - Preliminary Research

Flood Maps’ “Grey Area” There are several areas in NYC that have been at times in flood zones and at times outside of flood zones. There were nearly 10,000 buildings outside of flood zones pre-Sandy that were flooded, and many of these are now included in current flood zones…

Asking more of our data

"What Went Wrong" is an impressive piece of data journalism, but the reporters left valuable statistical inference on the table. The report rests on the idea that storm intensity alone did not predict home destruction from Hurricane Andrew; rather home construction practices had a significant impact on the…