Harnessing the Power of Free Data

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Making the most of online data applications and a few tips for building your own

New Yorkers have an abundance of free, online tools at their disposal for discovering data, engaging with interactive maps, analyzing information, and downloading datasets. This training will demonstrate how to make these data tools work for you and what to look for when trying to incorporate data into your practice. We’ll also give a brief overview of the different kinds of technology behind each type of tool and highlight some examples of organizations that have built their own.

What we’ll cover:

  • A brief introduction to some of the most popular and user-friendly data tools in New York City
  • Best practices for using data tools, including whether to seek out geographic or non-geographic data, navigating interactive maps and other visualizations, how to download in the appropriate format, how to assure that the data on the tool is up-to-date, and how to contact the tool’s authors if extra help is required
  • What makes a good data tool and what organizations have done to create their own data tools

About the Instructor

As Democratizing Data Researcher at Pratt Center, Taylor McGinnis works to expand access to public datasets and to connect organizations with the data they need to further their goals. She previously served as a software developer and technical product manager at NYC Planning Labs, where she helped to design, build, and maintain online data-sharing applications focused on city planning issues. Taylor has a Certificate in GIS & Design from Pratt Institute’s Spatial Analysis and Visualization Initiative (SAVI)


31 May, 2022


1 – 3 pm


Virtual training

Contact Info

Ben Dodd bdodd@prattcenter.net

Additional Details

Register via Zoom