All posts by Camilo Gomez

Camilo Gomez is enrolled in the M.A. program at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. He previously worked at the press office of the Colombian Ministry of Culture in Bogota, Colombia. He spent two years publishing profiles, interviews and stories in the ministry’s website. Some of his work has been published in Colombian media, such as the cultural supplement of newspapers like El Tiempo and La Patria. Since moving to New York City his work has appeared in the news websites Youth Today, Quartz, and the BrianLehrer.TV show on CUNY Television.

Gomez: pre-pitches 2

1. See whether there is a relationship between median household income in New York City and the presence of laundromats in certain areas. Does the availability of laundromats coincide with a particular range of income? Where are they most predominant and why?

I created a spreadsheet of the median household income in each Community District using data from www.infoshare.org. I got the locations of laundromats from https://data.cityofnewyork.us/Business/Laundromats/2zzj-3hqt

2. See whether there is a relationship between median household income in New York City and the presence of Green Markets in certain areas. Does the availability of these Green Markets coincide with a particular range of income? Where are they most predominant and why?

I created a spreadsheet of the median household income in each Community District using data from www.infoshare.org. I got the locations of laundromats from https://data.cityofnewyork.us/Business/GreenMarkets/ehhb-sebr

 

 

Gomez/Eugenios, Permit Fees storyboard

Two charts for the wages of DOB-related jobs
Two charts for the wages of DOB-related jobs

Byline: Camilo Gomez and Jillian Eugenios
Hede: How much does a DOB license fee really cost?
Slug: Permit Fees

Key elements:
Permit fees per job
Median annual wage per job
Jobs listed with DOB
Information on where permit fees go

News hook:
Construction jobs are on the rise, in an industry that has continued to show healthy growth post-recession. However, many of those jobs require permits that must be renewed every one to three years, bringing into question whether or not some pay too much based on how much they earn.

Description of data and link:
Department of Buildings information on NYC Open Source Data
https://data.cityofnewyork.us/Business/DOB-License-Fees/vi6e-zw9u

Findings:
Since the information in NYC Open Data dated from 2009 we visited the DOB site to get updated information: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dob/html/development/licensing_main.shtml.

We clicked through each job permit below the heading “Select a category” and built our own updated excel spreadsheet.

We then picked applicable information on wages from the New York state’s Department of Labor information about New York City wages: http://www.labor.ny.gov/stats/lswage2.asp#47-0000.

Nevertheless, we realized that wages for construction jobs are broken down into categories that do not match exactly the categories of license permits from the DOB­—for instance, the DOB has separate permits for “Master riggers” and “Special riggers” with different permit fees for each, while the wage information for the job of “rigger” in the Department of Labor is under one single category. Furthermore, many of the jobs for which the DOB issues license fees are lumped together in the Department of Labor’s wage data under one same category. We contacted both the Department of Labor and the DOB to get further information and were told that the data we have is the best data we can get. For this reason we believe that in order to draw a sensible comparison between license fees and expected wages we will have to take the fees of those jobs that are lumped together at the Department of Labor and draw an average of how much these workers have to pay for their licenses. As to the question of where the money that the DOB charges for the license fees goes, Everton Harris from the DOB told us on the phone that it “goes to New York City”. We sent him an email asking him to transmit our question to somebody capable of answering it in more detail.

As our sketch shows, we are planning to have two graphs: a scatterplot with “license fees” on the y-axis and “average yearly wage” on the x-axis. We expect that jobs that pay more will have proportionately higher license fees. This graph will allow us to find any outliers that pay disproportionate amounts.

The other image is a line chart of money spent in license fees and renewals over the years for each job. If the amount paid for renewals in each job rises proportionately over time, the gradient of each line should be the same. Nonetheless, it isn’t.

Sources:

Elena Volovelsky
Labor Market Analyst
NYS Department of Labor
212 775 3332

James Brown
Labor Market Analyst
NYS Department of Labor
212 775 3330

Everton Harris
NYC Department of Buildings
212 393 2126
evharris@buildings.nyc.gov

Tweets:
DOB construction job fees. Why are some more expensive than others?

New York’s most important behind-the-scenes jobs and what they have to pay for their permits.

Inequality and New York’s subway

This is the link to the data visualization that I commented in class last week: http://www.newyorker.com/sandbox/business/subway.html

It shows graphs for each New York subway line and each graph shows the median household incomes of the populations living near subway stations on that line.

In our class discussion we came to the conclusion that people from New York who visit the URL will most likely click on the subway line that they normally take. We therefore wondered whether other ways of presenting the data would have been more comprehensive for a user interested in inequality in New York City.

Three Department of Buildings data sets: Camilo Gomez

The following three data sets come from NYC Open Data (data.cityofnewyork.us).

The first one is about Department of Buildings license fees: https://data.cityofnewyork.us/Business/DOB-License-Fees/vi6e-zw9u

In it, we can see a table with a list of 25 construction jobs. For each, we find the cost of obtaining a license, the duration of the license and the cost of renewing it. All licenses expire after either three years or one year except for that of a journeyman plumber or journeyman fire suppression piping installer, whose  license ever expires.

With this information it is possible to calculate how much each worker has to pay for license fees over a twelve-year period from the moment that he pays his original fee. Then, it would be possible to create a line graph, each line representing a profession, with dollar amounts in the y-axis and the number of years in the x-axis. This would show how the cost of fees compare in each profession.

The second one is about Department of Buildings complaints received: https://nycopendata.socrata.com/Housing-Development/DOB-Complaints-Received/eabe-havv

It shows the date of each complaint, the type of complaint (the key for each complaint category can be found here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dob/downloads/pdf/complaint_category.pdf) and the street and house number of the complaint. With this information, a map could be created to show which community districts in New York’s five boroughs have had the most complaints, what types of complaints have been the most common during a particular time period (the table’s oldest complaint is from 1989 and the latest from 2013) and compare how the number and type of complaints have varied through time.

The third data set is about Department of Building permits: https://nycopendata.socrata.com/Housing-Development/Building-Permits/tj4w-skrs

These are building permits that were issued in 06/07/2013 but it includes buildings that were begun as early as the 1990s. One could concentrate only on the new constructions (those that were started after the issuance of this permit) plot the sites in a map, and see how many of those correspond with the map of complaints from the previous data set.