Interactive Cartography Aesthetic Exploration

Our task this assignment was to focus on mapping data. I spent hours exploring the data sets on NYC's Open Data platform -- learning about everything from contaminated water to the salaries of NYC city officials. The data was vast, but it was challenging to figure out how to use it.


I decided, for this round, that I would focus simply on city blocks, their cartography, and what is located within their buildings.

So, I captured different parts of the nyc map and redesigned it in abstract form.


Tandon School of Engineering:

Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 6.43.10 AM.png
Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 7.08.08 AM.png
Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 7.36.27 AM.png
Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 7.46.06 AM.png

I wanted to make this assignment interactive. So I used Vuforia and Unity to create an AR application. Unity would recognize which map you were holding up, and then return to you another image that I created that listed the places within that area.


For this assignment, I mostly only focused on turning cartography into some form of interactive art. In future iterations, I would like to explore with incorporating different data sets and making data visualizations that create a language for the oppressed. I would like to build this further to reflect the water contamination issues, wealth disparities, housing violations, environmental racism issues, and more.

And, when the user shows the different visuals, I'd like the result to be a sort of other-worldly experience. I'd like the user to be immersed in videos and sounds and visuals that reflect the experiences of the different areas.

Pop Culture Poetry

After watching Dan Shiffman's video on using RitaJS to program with text, I was super excited to start creating some sort of visualization with different types of material.

I started off with music lyrics.

I made each button input a different famous lyric from some of the most popular artists on the radio, and a few others. I then used RitaJS to replace certain types of words within the lyrics -- in a sort of mad-lib style -- with other random words either of that same word type or not.

Screen Shot 2017-10-23 at 11.10.28 AM.png

When the code finally worked (which took a long period of playing with the code and seeing what was possible and what wasn't), I finally got to get into the aesthetics and design of the application.

In the future, I would love to create a more in-depth analysis of lyrics. I would love to learn more about the construction of rap lyrics and how they differ within the different popularities of artists. I mean, do artists on the radio typically have the same word structure while underground artists differ? Do artists that begin to have a romantic relationship with another artists, start to create more similar word structure within their music?

Tools that I used:


W3schools CSS guide

Processing reference

Screen Shot 2017-10-23 at 1.38.27 AM.png
Screen Shot 2017-10-23 at 1.38.03 AM.png

Uber Everywhere

The Thought

For one month, I traded in my metro card and solely used an Uber pass as transportation through New York City.

How the Uber pass works:

You pay a flat fee of $15 and then every trip within the nyc is $3.99 as long as it would have originally been less than $20.

I assumed that I would only be going in and out of Manhattan (where I work and go to school) from Brooklyn (where I live) about 4 each way times out of the month. And maybe a couple times during the weekend. Which makes the amount of money i've spent on the Uber pass at least $150 but closer to $170. Some of those times include being the designated "Uber-orderer" since my fares are cheaper than a user without a pass.

So, about $150 on Uber would then be compared to about $120 for the metro pass. I wouldn't consider it the most economical or environmental (a lot of rides included me being the only passenger), but it was certainly the most convenient.

I then decided to look at my Uber trip receipts to create a data visualization and see in what parts of NYC do I seem to frequent the most.

The Process

I grabbed screen shots of my Uber rides from the past 3 weeks. I then used the routes that each driver took as a reference to for the lines that I would sew on my map.


I drew about 20 trips and studied in which areas do I frequent.

Obviously, I mostly frequented my home-base and my school. But the fact that I had done so little travel beyond those places, worried me. And reminded me that I need to take more advantage of more of New York City. 

Final Product


If I could have spent more time on this, I would have loved to not only focus on my own trips, but create data visualizations on the people I interacted with, within my trips. It would have been interesting to create data vizs on the drivers I had and what other passengers I had when I was in certain areas.