Monday, February 6, 2012

The Colorful and Interactive World of Energy Consumption

New York City Building Energy Map

Let's face it, we are a graphic-loving species. If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words is an interactive graphic map of annual building energy consumption for New York City worth? Visualization is an important asset when trying to explain complex ideas or figures. It becomes even more important when attempting to identify and quantify comparative data as critical as energy usage in urban areas.

The Energy, Infrastructure, and Development Lab at Columbia University has released a graphically interactive map of New York City that displays estimated building energy consumption per block. According to the report:
The map represents the total annual building energy consumption at the block level (zoom levels 11-15) and at the taxlot level (zoom levels 16-18) for New York City, and is expressed in kilowatt hours (k Wh) per square meter of land area. The data comes from a mathematical model based on statistics, not private information from utilities, to estimate the annual energy consumption values of buildings throughout the five boroughs.
The overall map is keyed to provide a color-coded comparison of energy consumption at the macro-city level, however, as you hover over each block, more exact data is displayed for each block including lot land area, average floor area, and fuel and electricity use. The map provides a playful and graphically interesting tool to compare and contrast energy statistics in New York City.

Seen first on Gizmodo.
Images via Columbia University