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Data Visceralization

Making a Non-fictional Narrative with the "311 Service Requests" Dataset

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Project Background

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The “311 Service Request” are phone calls to New York City government for  non-emergency municipal services. Each phone call is documented with details such as time, location, type of service request, and how the call was processed.

My teammate Cristobal and I were given the 311 Service Request dataset as a prompt, and the assignment is to generate a non-fictional and immersive story based on this dataset.

 

The Process

However, not only was the quantity of data enormous (16 million entries between 2010-2017), but also it was hard to draw connections between each individual incident. So we focused on the dataset of a particular year (2015), and filtered the dataset from there on.

We trimmed and filtered the dataset using Python, and exported to JSON format for visualization.

 
 
 

During our research, we were particularly inspired by a previous data-visualization featured on Wired.com:

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The Result

We decided to map out the calls of a particular day of the year, in this case 4th July, and draw correlations between the “type” of service request and what audio experience could emerge from that scenario. In other words, the physical contexts of the miscellaneous phone calls generate an “orchestra” for each moment of 4th July, 2015.