The NYC Boundaries Map – is a tool for viewing and querying overlapping administrative boundaries in NYC. Various governmental bodies at the city, state, and federal level divide NYC’s geography into a series of districts. Sometimes these districts are drawn to outline communities that will share common representation (e.g. by a community board, a council member, or a congressional member). Other times these districts are drawn to divide the work of a city agency (e.g. police precincts, fire battilions, and sanitation districts). For the most part, every governmental body divides the city in a different way, and in order to know who to collaborate with around issues in their district, those representing the districts within this governmental body need to know which districts of other governmental boundaries orverlap with their own district. For instance, community boards may want to know which council members to call when a pressing issue faces their district so need to know which council districts overlap with their community district. A council member running on a platform of school reform will need to know which school districts overlap with their council district.
Understanding how administrative boundaries overlap is also often important for interpreting open city datasets and summarizing information across multiple geographies. Sometimes, within open city datasets, values are reported at a district level. For instance, DSNY reports the monthly tonnage of waste collected for each sanitation district in NYC. In order to get a sense of how much waste is collected within a community district, an analyst would need to better understand how community districts overlap with sanitation districts. In this particular example, community districts share the same boundaries as sanitation districts, so it is possible to know how much waste is collected per community district. However, when districts do not share the same boundaries, it becomes much more difficult to know how much of the value to allocate to each overlapping boundary. Boundaries Map helps users visualize this issue.
The Boundaries Map has helped staff identify the various electeds and agencies covering all corners of New York City. For example, where police precincts or school districts overlay community districts, and which elected officials overlap a given school district. Boundaries Map helps facilitate the work of government staff, especially around contacting the appropriate representatives for any given area in the City.