NYC Property Tax Explorer is beautiful example of visualized open data that helps to make public information easy accessible. The interactive tool allows you to visually explore New York City’s property tax bills at the taxlot level. The tool, made by volunteers of BetaNYC, learns the user that for instance the Empire State Building was taxed last year for 30,6 million dollars.

BetaNYC is a network of civic-minded volunteers who contribute their skills toward government and community service. These ‘civic hackers are actively building technology to improve the city’. BetaNYC’s projects and tools grow from the community, the website states. The volunteers meet on a regular basis to exchange knowledge and ideas about ‘datasets, opportunities to improve policy or legislation, and troubleshoot issues’.

The combined efforts already have resulted in a large number of tools, including NYC Day Care Map with all the official day care centres in the city, Dangerous Roads NYC that shows the injuries and fatalities that occurred at intersections on a given itinerary, and AskThem, a tool to monitor and interact with local governments in the United States.

Since 2009 BetaNYC has ‘worked with New York City government, elected officials, community boards, and community groups to engage NYC’s “civic-minded” technology and design community’, according to the website. BetaNYC presents itself as ‘NYC’s civic technology and open government vanguard, building a connected New York City by the people, for the people, for 21st Century.’ An example that deserves to be followed, we think.

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