Manhattan 311 Noise Complaints
311, New York's Information and Services phone line, collects noise complaints — this graphic maps this data from 2012 in Manhattan. Noise complaints reveal the concentration of activity in the city as well as many smaller stories, such as the construction of the Second Avenue subway line, idling buses on the Upper East Side, and the homes of the loudest dogs (or the least patient neighbors). Specific complaints show dramatic differences among neighborhoods in Manhattan and where the city invests the most of its development resources.
New York City Street Trees
New York City took a census of the entire city's street trees in 2005; this is a visualization of that data. Though I am especially fond of the contrast between the concrete jungle and the actual jungle that grows along its gridiron, this data also reveals the residential anatomy of the city. Dense concentrations of trees can be seen as a proxy for popular or affluent neighborhoods. Notice how lush the Upper East Side, the West Village, and Cobble Hill appear in relation to nearby neighborhoods.