The New York Taxi & Limousine Commission has released an amazing data set containing information about every public taxi trip taken from 2009 to 2015. Software developer Todd W. Schneider crunched the numbers and produced a fascinating set of gorgeous maps that provide insight into the rhythms of America's biggest city.
On the map above (see a high-res version here), dots represent taxi drop-offs, with brighter dots reflecting locations where more drop-offs occurred. Unsurprisingly, the map is brightest in Midtown and Downtown Manhattan. There's also significant action in the innermost parts of Brooklyn and Queens (just to the right of Manhattan on the map). And New York's two airports, LaGuardia and JFK, shine particularly brightly.
There are separate white and green areas because New York distinguishes between yellow taxis — which mostly serve Manhattan — and green taxis that serve the outer boroughs.
Schneider explores many aspects of New York life, from the times employees arrive at major Wall Street banks to the average time it takes to drive to the airport from various locations on various days.
For example, here's a fun map showing where to go for New York City nightlife:
Schneider generated this map by looking at the areas where a disproportionate share of taxi pickups occur late at night — defined as 10 pm to 5 am. He assumes this means people have been out partying. As you'd expect, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Bushwick in Brooklyn, Jackson Heights and Astoria in Queens, and the Lower East Side in Manhattan, are hot spots.