New York Rat Map

Time Magazine online is reporting about New York’s Rat Map online. The project is a tad over a year old. The project features a nice participartory GIS component as residents (and presumablly visitors as well) can report rat infestation issues. Definately one of the most intersting mashups I’ve seen! And a tad icky too 🙂

2 thoughts on “New York Rat Map

  1. Excellent start in NY at gaining information on where the rat population problems exist. Certainly they’ll find that rats are really nearly everywhere in the city, just ask a New Yorker. The development of the website shows that the City has taken an approach to control rats by trying to clean up the city and change the public’s habits so that the above ground rats have less food sources and habitat. Do New Yorkers think that will work?

    It’s important to understand that controlling rats is very different than controlling roaches or mice. There are several problems with blaming building owners and restaurants (or other sources of the rat’s food) specifically for rat problems. First and foremost, it is probably blaming the wrong party in the case of responsibility for the rat population. Clearly the rat population in New York City’s situation comes up from the sewers and infrastructure underground. That clearly makes rats primarily the city’s problem. The City is providing the main food source and habitat. Doing away with above ground food sources in New York will probably be as successful as trying to throw a stone to the moon. The path New York has taken is also a difficult path to take politically, a government agency embarrassing people usually is not a good approach to solve a problem.

  2. I’ve lived in New York for 10 years and have only ever seen rats down on the subway tracks. I don’t know why we get such a bad reputation for rodents.

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